In the 2018-19 season, Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 14 years. Several players who started in the Grand Finale against Tottenham are gone, including Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane.
Precisely, signing Darwin Nunez for 100 million euros, bonuses included, is Liverpool’s response to losing Mane. The Senegalese, who now will play for Bayern Munich, decided to leave Liverpool after six seasons in which he scored 120 goals. Last season, he scored 16 goals in the English Premier League and five in the UCL.
Roberto Firmino, who also started in that championship game against the Spurs, isn’t gone, but he now plays a secondary role. Last season, the Brazilian scored five goals in the EPL while Diogo Jota scored 15. In other words, the Portuguese standout is Jurgen Klopp’s new favorite center striker.
Also, Luis Diaz arrived in January. The Colombian was an instant hit, winning a spot in the starting lineup in no time. He ended up scoring four goals in the EPL and two in the UCL.
Yes, Liverpool is changed, but the Reds remain among the favorites to dethrone Manchester City in the EPL.
Is Nunez Worth the Price?
Well, that’s a tricky question because he’s only 22 years old. However, let’s not forget that Klopp is very good when it comes to developing young talents. He helped Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus and Trent Alexander-Arnold, among others, become superstars.
Statistically, Nunez just had his best season. The Uruguayan, who was transferred from Almeria to Benfica in 2020, scored 26 goals in the Primeira Liga, two in the domestic cup and six more in the UCL. Compared to his new teammates, only Salah scored more.
Veteran striker Luis Suarez, who played for Liverpool from 2010 to 2014, said Nunez is definitely worth it. “He’s a special player. I could see it from an early age. While he was at Almeria, I recommended him to Barcelona (Suarez’s club at the time), but it was something that never happened,” Suarez said during an interview.
Nunez will become only the third Uruguayan to play for the Reds in their 130-year history. That has to mean something, right? Suarez was the first and he was very successful, scoring 82 goals in 133 appearances. The other was Sebastian Coates, who wasn’t successful at all. He played 12 games in two seasons and scored only one goal.
Who Will Have Biggest Impact?
Liverpool is among the soccer betting favorites to win the EPL title. Signing Nunez has a lot to do with that. Nevertheless, Manchester City sits atop the odds board to win its fifth title in six seasons. Signing Erling Haaland has a lot to do with that.
Haaland, who is 21 years old, is expected to break all kinds of records. After all, he scored 84 goals in 86 games for Borussia Dortmund. However, don’t sleep on Nunez. Liverpool’s fast-paced style is perfect for the Uruguayan to become a household name in no time.
In his first season with Benfica, the Uruguayan scored 14 goals. Considering that he’ll now play with some of the most talented players in the world, he should end up smashing that number in his first season at Anfield.
That’s why the Reds are also among the favorites to win the UCL. They’re offering a +450 price in the sportsbook. Last season, only six players scored more goals than Nunez in the continental tournament. Haaland wasn’t one of them.