Paul Merson believes the inclusion of Darwin Nunez in the Liverpool starting XI hinders Mohamed Salah
Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson believes the inclusion of Darwin Nunez in the Liverpool starting lineup hinders the game of Mohamed Salah. The player-turned-pundit feels the Egyptian is forced out wide with the Uruguayan in the middle.
The 30-year-old, who signed a new contract earlier in the summer, has not been at his best this season. Jurgen Klopp’s team, as a whole, have suffered in the 2022/23 campaign.
“When Mohamed Salah plays on the wing and Roberto Firmino plays, he brings the centre-back with him.
“It leaves Salah with space to run inside. When Darwin Nunez plays, he’s the focal point, and there’s nowhere for Salah to run except down the wing.
“You can’t score goals from there, and that’s been his problem this season.”
Liverpool signed the Uruguayan in the recent transfer window from SL Benfica. The 23-year-old had an impressive campaign in Portugal, which compelled the Merseysiders to get him.
Nunez’s arrival also coincided with the departure of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022. The Senegalese had a good partnership with the Egyptian talisman.
Salah has not been as prolific as fans had expected him to be up until now this season. While the Egyptian has good numbers in the Champions League, it is the Premier League where we have struggled.
The Merseysiders are currently ninth in the table. We have lost our last two league games against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
And the 30-year-old has been unable to have a considerable impact in those fixtures. In the 2022/23 campaign, the former Roma forward has made 12 appearances in the PL, scoring four goals and providing three assists.
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Understandably, Salah has looked off his game this season. We have had a lot of injuries in the middle of the park and up front. And creating an understanding between new teammates evidently takes time.