Former Liverpool defender criticises the treatment of Darwin Nunez during his early days
Having joined Liverpool from SL Benfica, many expected Nunez to hit the ground running from day one and when that did not happen, there were many critics who already his career to be a failure.
Johnson who made 200 appearances for the club, while speaking to OLBG (h/t Liverpool Echo) believes the criticism was too hard for a new player who has had to adjust to a tougher league and different surroundings.
“Everyone jumped the gun too early to say he was a disappointment. He’s not been there long. It’s not easy to go to a big club and hit the ground running. Not everyone can do what Luis Díaz did. It has been harsh to give him so much pressure and I think he’s only now showing his class. He’s a fantastic signing and I think he will be a big player for Liverpool in the coming years.”
Nunez was the bearer of constant criticisms by pundits and rival fans and the red card against Crystal Palace in its initial days certainly did not help.
Jurgen Klopp as well as his fellow teammates have shown utmost support for the player and had a collectively positive opinion about the capabilities of the player.
After taking his time to adjust, Nunez has started to show glimpses of why Liverpool paid such a huge sum for the forward and overall has already scored nine goals in 18 appearances, of which many have been from the bench.
A big factor which led to the criticisms was the constant comparisons to Manchester City’s new boy Erling Haaland, who was bought at a similar fee as well but hit the ground running from matchday 1.
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However, many fail to consider the difference in the overall structure of both the teams and how it was much easier for the Norwegian to integrate into a well-drilled system with Nunez entering Liverpool at a time when a star player had left and many of the first team personnel not able to replicate their form of past seasons.
Nunez has been proving everyone wrong with his strong performances and is already headed towards a potential 20-goal season which in his first year would be a very good return.