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Ian Wright on Surprise at Nuñez Red Card and What’s Next for Striker

The pundit and former Palace man was surprised by Nuñez’ headbutt on Monday but says the striker doesn’t need to bulk up.

Watford v Crystal Palace - The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

With Darwin Nuñez set to miss the next three games due to a red card suspension earned against Crystal Palace, one of the most common reactions from fans and pundits has been to suggest the player needs to bulk up to deal with the increased physicality of defenders in the Premier League.

As former Arsenal and Palace striker Ian Wright sees it, though, that would be a misguided reaction as he believes Nuñez already has the build to deal with defenders in England—though having the strength for it and being used to and comfortable with the physicality aren’t quite the same.

“I was reading a couple of comments that said he needs to bulk up, he needs to get in the gym,” Wright said. “He doesn’t actually need to do it. Of course he’ll need to get a bit more physical in respects of backing in and challenges but like we’ve seen he’s great in the air, he’s got great pace.”

As for the incident itself, Nuñez frustration leading to a headbutt of Joachim Andersen on Monday, Wright—consistently one of the most even-handed commentators regarding the Reds—avoided any grand pronouncements but did say he was surprised to see a Liverpool player react like that.

“I was surprised simply because that’s not something that Liverpool are about,” Wright added of his reaction to seeing Nuñez’ red card incident unfold. “They’re not about reacting and doing that—so it’s something he’s got to learn quickly. He’s obviously frustrated with the way it went.”

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