Liverpool can feel smug after Rio Ferdinand gives Darwin Nunez verdict
Liverpool train ahead of Real Madrid clash
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Liverpool can feel smug after Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand backed Darwin Nunez to come good at Anfield. The Merseyside giants shelled out an initial £64million to sign Nunez from Benfica last summer after the talented forward had starred in the Primeira Liga and the Champions League.
Nunez bagged an incredible 34 goals in 41 appearances for Benfica last season, with six of those strikes coming in the Champions League as the Portuguese giants reached the quarter-finals before succumbing to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
But the 23-year-old has struggled to hit top gear in the Premier League and has been guilty of missing a string of big chances. He has come under fire from a number of pundits over the last few months – but Ferdinand is having none of it.
“Do you know what I like about Nunez,” the ex-defender said on his FIVE YouTube channel. “I saw a quote from Nunez after. He said, ‘I’m a bit like [Luis] Suarez. Second season, I’ll come good. Done it at Benfica.’ I think he will. I honestly think he will come good. He’s got all the attributes that defenders don’t like to play against. He’s aggressive, he’s strong, he likes to run in behind, he’s a nuisance, he’s a bit unpredictable.”
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Despite his struggles in front of goal, Nunez has still shown glimpses of his prodigious talents this season and has notched 12 goals in all competitions. On Tuesday night, he opened the scoring against Real Madrid before Liverpool lost 5-2. His goal came after he did the same against Newcastle to help the Reds claim three points courtesy of a 2-0 win at St James’ Park. And five days before that strike he teed up Mohamed Salah for the opening goal as Liverpool defeated Everton in the Merseyside derby.
Nunez clearly has no concerns about his indifferent start to life in England. And at the beginning of February, he compared himself to ex-Reds striker Suarez, who racked up 82 goals and 46 assists in 133 games for Liverpool.
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“It is a case of adapting,” explained Nunez. “Adapting is important – and not only here at the club. Things have to be good on the football side, but also with your family because, if your family is okay, then you will always be okay. My family and I are good.
“Obviously I still have many things to work on, for example my finishing. But I think the same thing is happening to me as happened to Suarez. In his second year, he tore it up. Something similar happened to me already at Benfica. The first year went very badly for me and in the second, I exploded. Here, I think the same thing is happening. I hope next season will be like that. I’ll put my best forward and hopefully I’ll get a bit of luck.”
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