In his pre-match press conference ahead of Leeds United this Saturday, manager Jürgen Klopp briefly touched on the early reaction to Darwin Núñez from those outside the club.
“Darwin came here after a short break, flew straight to Asia, didn’t speak English, new team, and the price - and then everyone judges straight away. Started well, scored v City/Fulham, then red card. He was embarrassed. Confidence was knocked.”
Klopp, who sees his job as “to bring the best out of the boys,” is happy with the subsequent progress from Núñez:
“He’s involved in a lot, a lot of finishing moments. [October] was a great month for him.”
While giving the Uruguayan praise, however, Klopp was careful to keep the striker’s recent performances in context:
“Darwin is so exciting but he has to stay fit and be available all the time. We work on all different areas and the potential is incredible. Speed, attitude, a real worker, it’s all possible to develop and learn. It’s really exciting.”
Thus far this season, Núñez has played in 13 matches, starting three — adding up to 694 total minutes. In that time, he has scored six (xG 6.87) and assisted one (xA 1.41). He is on 0.78 goals per 90 minutes at this point in his career, which certainly isn’t terrible — particularly when in the context of Liverpool’s overall uneven form and the caveats Klopp has himself provided above.