Thu 02 February 2023 | 16:50

Nunez to follow Suarez's footprint to overcome Liverpool's struggles

Joining Liverpool on an £85m transfer in the summer, Nunez has scored nine goals in his 20 appearances for the Reds since arriving. However, the Uruguayan has been criticized for missing some scoring opportunities.

Struggling during his first season in Liverpool after a hefty summer transfer from Benfica, Darwin Nunez acknowledges his difficult start to life at his new club, but he's confident he will overcome them emulating his idol, Luis Suarez.


It's a very big change,"

Nunez tells

Sky Sports


"Here, the league is stronger, more competitive. I didn't expect it to be so strong. Nico Otamendi [the former Manchester City defender and his team-mate at Benfica] told me that, but I still didn't expect it.

"It has impressed me a lot. There are no bad teams. They are all in this league for a reason. The football is more difficult than in Portugal and more competitive. You don't get much time."

"I think after those first few months of adaption, things began improving. I feel at home. I feel happy. When I come in, I look forward to training because, luckily, I have people here who speak Spanish.

"They have supported me really well and they are still supporting me today. That's what we are here to do. We are a team. If we can help each other, that's a good thing.

"My team-mates who speak Spanish are always translating because I still don't understand a lot of things," he smiles again.

"But watch out, because I am taking English classes. I hope that, in a year and a half, minimum, I will be able to understand everything."

Selecting Thiago Alcantara, Alisson Becker, and Fabinho as the teammates that helped him most, Nunez also found Jurgen Klopp’s assistant, Pep Lijnders, among the most helpful in the staff despite the language barrier:

"They are always giving me advice and they are always there to help with whatever I need



Jurgen Klopp

, the Uruguayan added:

"He doesn't speak Spanish and I don't speak English, so we don't understand each other, but ever since I arrived at Liverpool, he has always given me confidence.

"I think he wants to see what he saw in Benfica. For example in the games I played against Liverpool [in the Champions League last season], when I performed very well.

"I don't think I'm playing well at the moment, but I always want to improve. I try to improve every day.

"Klopp knows my strength is my speed, running into space. Also, he tells me that I need to be more calm when I'm playing, and that I need to move more. He tells me that I need that, and that I am a player with a lot of quality. So, that's more or less what he wants from me - and, of course, that I score goals.

"He has told me that I have to be calm in games when it comes to finishing. He wants me to take a second longer, because if I shoot with anger, or I rush it, then it will always go badly. He asks me to take an extra second, with calmness, and I will score."

It took

Luis Suarez

one and a half seasons to adapt to Premier League as Nunez points out to his peer's slow start.


It is a case of adapting,"

says Nunez.

"Adapting is important - and not only here at the club. Things have to be good on the football side, but also with your family, because if your family is OK, then you will always be OK. My family and I are good.

"Obviously, I still have many things to work on, for example my finishing. But I think the same thing is happening to me as happened to Suarez. In his second year, he tore it up.

"Something similar happened to me already at Benfica. The first year went very badly for me and in the second, I exploded.

"Here, I think the same thing is happening. I hope next season will be like that. I'll put my best forward and hopefully I'll get a bit of luck.

"Of course, it's always helpful to speak with Suarez.

"For me, he is an idol. He is a great example. In the national team, I now have a much better relationship with him.

"We are always talking and he is always giving me advice. I always try to keep in touch with him. I ask him a lot of things because he was at this club and he has a lot more experience than me. He is an important player to give me advice and explain things to me."

"I think it depends on the player, but it also has to do with the team-mates you have around you. Here, I have team-mates who have a lot of quality in terms of their play.

"But I still need to understand them a little bit more, and the other way around too. I have to adapt to their play, and they have to adapt to mine. I think, with time, we'll see positive results."



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source: Sky Sports

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