Earlier today Darwin Nunez put on a Liverpool jersey for the first time during the Reds’ pre-season friendly match with Premier League rivals Manchester United.
The 23-year-old played the final half-hour as his new side were thumped 4-0 by Man United in the Bangkok Century Cup in Thailand and it was a mixed-bag display from the striker. The Uruguayan was clearly not fit, which Klopp eluded to after the match, but had two chances during the match; the best of which was blasted over the bar from very close range.
Liverpool signed Nunez from Benfica for £85m this summer, as reported Sky Sports, and many thought it was with the intention of playing the striker in his preferred position. After today’s match, Klopp hinted at using the former Benfica man in another area of the pitch; although it is still highly likely that come the first day of the new season at Fulham, the Uruguayan will be playing through the middle.
After the game, Klopp was asked where he envisages Nunez operating this season and responded with, via the Liverpool Echo: “He is a number nine who can play on the wing as well,
“We will see where he plays.
“But what you could see is the boys were already searching for him. It was his third session (since arriving for pre-season training) and I think after the third sprint his lungs were ready to explode. We nearly killed him these balls but he offered the runs and the boys wanted to pass the ball, that is for sure one of his strengths. He was dangerous.
“His profile is a proper number nine so that’s helpful with speed and aggression and using his body.”
That last line is telling, in that the Liverpool boss sees Nunez as a number nine. However, he also recognises that the 23-year-old can be used out wide and whether we see the Uruguyuan used in those areas this season is unknown, but it is a great option for the German coach to have.