Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp claimed Darwin Nunez and Robert Lewandowski share some similarities.
Jurgen Klopp believes Darwin Nunez will find confidence in front of goal for the Merseyside club after seeing his former Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski going through similar issues earlier in his career.
The Uruguayan striker Nunez has had a mixed start since he arrived for an initial transfer deal worth £64 million from Benfica in the summer.
The Reds’ new signing, Nunez has a respectable tally of nine goals in 20 appearances across all competitions since his shift to Liverpool from Benfica last summer but Klopp believes that his goals could have been much higher.
In Liverpool’s two matches after the season resumed following the Qatar World Cup, Nunez fired blank despite having great opportunities in both games.
The Uruguayan striker missed a string of chances in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Aston Villa and Jurgen Klopp has admonished him about being relaxed when faced with a scoring opportunity.
Klopp believes a lack of composure in front of goals is what Nunez has been missing during his time at Anfield and admitted that Lewandowski had the same confidence issue when he coached the Poland striker at Dortmund.
The Liverpool coach says Lewandowski lacked a clinical streak when he signed him for Borussia Dortmund in 2010.
In those days, Lewandowski managed only eight goals in his first season in the Bundesliga campaign before he lit up his potential and Klopp is confident Nunez could follow a similar career path.
Jurgen Klopp managed to turn Lewandowski into a ruthless goalscorer and he believes he could do the same with his Uruguayan forward, Nunez.
Barcelona super striker Lewandowski is now regarded as arguably the world’s best number nine, thanks to Klopp who admitted that Lewi paid the price to achieve the great status he has today.
Klopp said: “There are a lot of similarities [with Lewandowski] to be honest.”
“Yes, I think Lewi would tell the same story we had shooting sessions where he didn’t finish off one. We had bets all the time for €10 – ‘if you score more than 10 times I will pay you 10 if you don’t you have to pay me. My pocket was full of money!”
Klopp surmised that Nunez has the potential to emulate former Bayern Munich scoring machine Robert Lewandowski but he needs to develop more composure in front of goal.
Klopp added: “It’s all about staying calm. When you see the potential, stay calm. I think we all agree that the potential [in Nunez] is so obvious. Yes. Is everything right? No – but it is all coming. I had this situation with Lewi but it is not only Lewi. He is the obvious comparison.”
“I saw so many top-class strikers in moments where the world was judging them and thought, ‘I am not sure that will happen again.’ If you have quality and the right attitude, everything will be fine – and that’s the case with Darwin.”
Gakpo’s impressive performance in the World Cup where he scored in all three group matches for the Dutch is expected to help Liverpool fortify their team and level up their chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The Dutch star Gakpo is ineligible for today’s home match with Leicester because he will officially not become a Liverpool player until the start of the January transfer window.
And before Gakpo’s arrival, the Merseyside boss will hope to see Nunez brazen up his composure and lead Liverpool to victory over tough Leicester squad in their Premier League clash today.
Liverpool will host Leicester City in a Premier League clash at Anfield today, December 30.
The kickoff time is scheduled for 9 pm.