Glen Johnson compared Darwin Nunez to a Spurs striker, though admitted he may replicate a Chelsea flop, while the ex-right back also fears for Liverpool’s top four status.
Liverpool committed to a whopping £86m to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica this summer. That figure includes future potential add-ons, though if the majority of them are met, the Reds’ transfer record will be smashed.
The hype in pre-season revolved around a Nunez-Erling Haaland battle. However, the early stages this season suggest it’s something of a no contest.
Indeed, Haaland has 14 goals in his first 11 Man City matches across all competitions and scooped the Premier League Player of the Month for August.
In contrast, after a bright start in the Community Shield, Nunez has as many red cards as league goals at one.
The Uruguayan, 23, is now facing a struggle for minutes too. Indeed, Liverpool looked far more potent last time out against Ajax with the returning Diogo Jota spearheading their attack.
Now, ex-Liverpool right-back, Glen Johnson, has claimed Nunez will come good after comparing his fighting spirit to Tottenham new boy Richarlison.
However, Johnson also admitted it’s entirely possible Nunez flops and named a Chelsea striker he could wind up replicating.
A “risk” Darwin Nunez could replicate Werner
“I’m confident Nunez will come good,” said Johnson (via the Liverpool Echo). “You want a player with a fire in their belly.
“He’s a bit like Richarlison in that respect. Whether he hits the heights of Diaz we’re yet to see but I think he’s got the potential.
“There’s always a risk that he could become someone like Timo Werner. Just because a player flourishes away from the Premier League, doesn’t mean they’ll do it straight away.”
Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge for £47.5m following four impressive years at RB Leipzig. Ironically, he was heavily linked with Liverpool at the time, though they were beaten to the punch by Chelsea.
Werner operated at a ratio of around one goal in four with the Blues as wastefulness in front of goal and struggles to stay onside blighted his game.
Werner was sold back to Leipzig after just two seasons this summer at a £22m loss.
Johnson shocked by Tottenham, Arsenal
The common consensus in pre-season was Liverpool and Man City were once again locks to occupy the top two.
City are sticking to their end of the bargain, but the Reds currently sit eighth after winning just two of their opening six matches. What’s more, they have Arsenal and Man City to face in two of their next three.
Jurgen Klopp will hope Liverpool’s sluggish start to the season can be overcome. The return from injury of influential trio Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota will aid his cause greatly.
However, the Reds already trail north London pair Arsenal and Spurs by nine and eight points respectively. Johnson is suitably nervous about his former side’s top four chances after admitting his surprise at the London clubs.
“The biggest shocks are Spurs and Arsenal,” continued Johnson. “I don’t think people thought Spurs would be this good.
“Liverpool were a banker for top four at first but now I’m slightly nervous.
“If Liverpool are close to Spurs and Arsenal with three months to go, they’ll make it as I think Arsenal and Tottenham may fade away.”