Premier League • England

Next Liverpool ‘superstar’ named with one forward to seize Salah mantle and make Reds a ‘force’

Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, Liverpool

Darwin Nunez replaces Cody Gakpo during Liverpool vs West Ham

Darwin Nunez is likely to become the next Liverpool ‘superstar’ after Mo Salah and his goals could help Jurgen Klopp’s side challenge for the Premier League title this season, according to one observer.

Nunez enjoyed a brilliant season with Benfica in 2021-22, as he found the back of the net 34 times in 41 matches across all competitions. That form – which included six Champions League goals – prompted Liverpool to spend big when bringing the centre-forward to England in summer 2022.

Liverpool spent an initial £64million when signing Nunez. However, the transfer had the potential to rise to a club-record £85m through add-ons.

Nunez went on to score 15 goals in 42 games during his debut campaign at Anfield. He was guilty of missing some big chances, but he soon earned the love of the Liverpool faithful thanks to his enigmatic and no-nonsense style of play.

The Uruguayan has started the new season in great fashion, having netted four goals in eight outings. He looks set to nail down the striker spot as his own, allowing him to form a deadly attacking trio with Mo Salah and Cody Gakpo.

During an interview with Football Insider, former West Ham and Celtic striker Frank McAvennie has sung Nunez’s praises, even predicting him to reach ‘superstar’ status.

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“I think Liverpool could be strong again this season,” the pundit said. “Salah staying, Nunez, [Luis] Diaz, [Diogo] Jota, I think they have got goals.

“I noticed last year all the chances Nunez was getting, he was making great runs and if he can start putting them away he is going to be a superstar.

Liverpool tipped to be a ‘force’ in 2023-24

“You can see how much it means to him when he scores. I think they are going to be a force this season.”

Of course, Liverpool already have an attacking superstar in the form of Salah. Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad bid as much as £150m to sign Salah earlier this month, only to see this knocked back by Liverpool.

But Al Ittihad remain intent on landing Salah and this could see the Egyptian leave Liverpool at the end of the season. If this does happen, then Nunez will be gunning to replace his goals and become Liverpool’s main man up front.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have moved ahead of Manchester United in the race for an exciting midfielder, according to reports.