Premier League • England

Liverpool warned they are in for shock if Darwin Nunez fails with Prem task that ‘rarely happens’

Darwin Nunez, Tyler Adams USA v Uruguay June 2022

Liverpool cannot immediately expect Darwin Nunez to make a flying start at Anfield like Luis Diaz did – but him failing to do so could cost the Reds, Paul Merson has said.

The success Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has enjoyed has come from a host of star players. Up front, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have proved the standout signings.

The Reds have chopped and changed their attacking options in the transfer market. However, Mane and Salah’s form has made them mainstays – until this summer.

Indeed, the current transfer window has brought the biggest shift in Liverpool‘s front line since Mane and Salah arrived. The former has left for Bayern Munich, with Nunez replacing him.

Uruguay striker Nunez cost Liverpool an initial £64million. Although, he could become the club’s record signing at around £85million if he picks up all his bonuses.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson admitted that Mane will prove a “big miss” for Liverpool. And he warned that January signing Luis Diaz’s instant adaptation is not something Liverpool should expect straight away from Nunez.

“He will be a massive miss,” Merson said of Senegal international Mane.

“I don’t worry for Liverpool because they have an unbelievable manager but Mane was a big-game player who scored big goals in matches.

“He wouldn’t get the third, fourth or fifth in a 5-0 win, he’d get the winning goal, the one that took the lead or the equaliser. Those are the goals I look for.

“Nunez has got to hit the ground running like Diaz and that rarely happens in the Premier League.”

Former Benfica man Nunez – like ex-Porto winger Diaz – starred against Liverpool in the Champions League last season.

Diaz scored six goals in his first half-season at Liverpool. Despite not scoring in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals, he starred in both and his pressing from the front proved vital too.

Nunez gives Liverpool exciting new dimension

Darwin Nunez, Benfica striker, warming up before Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Liverpool v Benfica - Anfield, Liverpool

It remains unclear just how much of an impact Nunez can make at Liverpool. However, his arrival can bring in an exciting new dimension of the Klopp era at Anfield.

For so long Klopp has relied on Mane and Salah as wide men who make out-to-in runs, creating and finishing a plethora of chances.

And while Mane and Salah have the goal-poaching traits of an out-and-out striker, Nunez appears to be more in the mould of the classic No. 9.

Darwin Nunez a massive Liverpool signing - but big Salah, Mane difference clear

Liverpool have made another impressive signing in Darwin Nunez, but the deal differs to those gone before up front in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

That means there are new possibilities and roles for those others who will be fighting for game time. Diogo Jota could adapt his role as a goal-poacher to combine with Nunez.

Roberto Firmino, meanwhile, linked up with Mane and Salah for so long as the glue between midfield and attack.

The Brazilian could now enjoy a new relationship with Nunez which could offer Liverpool exciting new goalscoring avenues.