Connect with us


Klopp backs under-fire Darwin Nunez despite goal drought and missed chances

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has firmly backed striker Darwin Nunez despite the Uruguayan’s struggles in front of goal this season. 

The 24-year-old has only netted 11 goals in 34 Premier League appearances this term while missing 27 big chances, with only Erling Haaland missing more.

Nunez’s conversion rate sits at an appalling 10%, with the former Benfica man coming under criticism in recent weeks. He has failed to find the back of the net in Liverpool’s past seven games in all competitions.

Liverpool’s Premier League title chase crashed and burned following some disappointing performances in the run-in, and much of the blame landed on the forwards, who were struggling in front of goal.

Nunez scored but missed a glorious chance in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United. He also missed another opportunity in the 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

Nunez was a culprit in the 2-0 loss to Everton, missing a fine chance to put his team ahead. He found himself on the bench for the 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur but managed to miss another excellent opening in his 15 minutes on the pitch.

After the match, speculation swirled that he would leave Liverpool after a disappointing two years in England with Barcelona linked. His removing all Liverpool-related content from his Instagram did not help matters.

However, Klopp dismissed any speculation about Nunez’s future at the club, stating (via LFC’s website): “There’s no speculation [about his future]… I am not involved in that anymore.”

He acknowledged Nunez’s frustration at missing chances, saying, “Yes, Darwin was definitely not happy missing that chance [against Tottenham]. He was unlucky in so many situations where he is doing everything right, and then the ball goes still not in.

“It’s really tough for a young man. He knows about expectations. He has big expectations of himself, and that’s tough, and you have to go through this. 

“There is no alternative than going through it, and that is what he is doing right now.”

He defended Nunez’s overall performance, saying, “His problem is that he’s that good that he is constantly in these moments… It is because he is that good that he is in these moments where he can finish it off and now he’s not finishing off in the moment. 

“How many goals did he score [this season]? I think he’s not too bad with numbers too, right?”

Klopp acknowledged the pressure on Nunez, “Because of our situation as a team, where we had chances and didn’t score if somebody else would have scored in that situation then it wouldn’t have felt that bad. 

“That’s the situation, but again, nobody likes it, but it’s part of a career. That’s it.”

Whether Nunez can overcome his slump and silence the doubters remains to be seen. 

However, with Klopp’s faith and the upcoming summer transfer window offering a chance to refine the attacking options around him, next season could be a turning point for the young Uruguayan at Anfield.

More in Liverpool