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Virgil Van Dijk hails ‘difficult to play against’ Darwin Nunez

Sun 31 July 2022 | 12:42

Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 in the Community Shield, with their new signing Nunez playing the final half-hour, winning a penalty and scoring a goal.

In his opening two pre-season games for Liverpool against Manchester United and Crystal Palace, Liverpool's £64million signing from Benfica had been the target of criticism and social media jibes following some sloppy performances.

However,

Darwin Nunez

responded in style scoring four goals in a 5-0 victory against RB Leipzig as well as contributing to Liverpool's Community Shield triumph.

Virgil Van Dijk

shrugged off the criticism of his new teammate, he told reporters:

"He's important. He's difficult to play against and hopefully he can show it for the rest of the season.

"We all help him in some ways and make sure that he's comfortable, he's calm and just work, and don't focus on what the outside world has to say because everyone has to say something these days. So head down, work and be important for the club.

"I don't speak Spanish, so I'm not saying anything to him at the moment, but we have plenty of Spanish speakers in the team and I know for a fact that they help him, and I don't see anything that bothers him at the moment.

"But we will see, everyone has something to say because there are so platforms to do it. So it can hit you but it shouldn't. Just enjoy your game, enjoy the group, enjoy the club, because we are very blessed to be able to play for Liverpool."

"We can't look to the future," the centre-back added. "It's a boring answer but we knew that, for example, two years ago we had so many injuries, those are part of football as well.

"We are focussing game by game. Hopefully it will be a successful season, better than last season. We are excited to crack on, and we will see what the year brings."

 

Fabinho

echoed the Dutch defender's words, he added:

"We saw he's getting better from the first game of the pre-season. He did really well for the team.

"We've had three weeks of training, so now he knows the way we play a little bit. We are learning the way he plays a little bit more.

"We know he is fast, he's strong and he's a proper number nine. He will be in the box, it looks like the ball follows him, he will always get the chance to score.

"So yeah, I think it's really important for him to score in the first official game in a Liverpool shirt. He will be very important for us this season."

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