Articles

Nunez Needs To Learn From Salah & Other Clever Liverpool Greats

There were three major stories at Anfield over the summer prior to the transfer window opening ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign and they concerned the futures of both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah - plus the potential arrival of impressive 23-year-old Uruguay international Darwin Nunez.

As Liverpool fans will know, 30-year-old Egyptian international wizard, Salah has been labelled as one of 'the best football strikers in the world in 2022,' and it is a recognition he is more than worthy of. Over the summer, he first committed to seeing out the final year of his contract at the club before then signing a new three year deal that speculation suggests is worth in the region of £350,000 a week. 30-year-old Sadio Mane saw his request granted to face a new challenge in a fresh country and he made the move to the German Bundesliga and Bayern Munich for a reported £35 million.

In return, manager Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool board in knowing Mane would ultimately be off, had already made overtures for Nunez given his incredible scoring record at Penarol, Almeria and Benfica. A record that at only 22, stood at 93 starting appearances, with 29 substitute appearances, but with a return of 64 goals.

With Benfica being the most historic side he had played for so far, he has 44 goals registered in only 54 starts. He has quickly got to grips with life in Liverpool and England as he found the net in his substitute debut for Klopp in the Community Shield victory over nemesis Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, and he also scored in his Premier League debut against Fulham earlier this month.

For Nunez, he has already hit a stumbling block though - his straight red card for a theatrical headbutt on Crystal Palace's Joachim Andersen might have some fans relishing his passionate streak, but he has a long way to go before he becomes as professional and legendary as Salah. Salah has his tricks, he has the knowledge, and he knows how to wind up opponents without actually getting wound up himself, like Nunez did.

Liverpool have had some momentarily explosive strikers in their grand historic past we have, and Nunez and Diaz would do well to learn from them, because whilst the likes of John Toshack might have a reputation for being a bit of a bruiser in the wider football community, the likes of Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Michael Owen and even Robbie Fowler were all accepted as fair men who would not back down, but not necessarily hard men who lost their focus and let the red mist descend on too many occasions.

Salah knows how to prod an opponent and get under their skin, but he also knows when to walk away with his hands up leaving them to be thoroughly unprofessional in response. Given Nunez has already shown he can find the back of the net at this level despite having so few games under his belt, he needs to learn that lesson very quickly if he wants to be a legend and whilst he may never lose the so called South American temperament, he can certainly be less naive.

Written by Alan Spencer

Archives

We've got all the results from official games, appearance stats, goal stats and basically every conceivable statistic from 1892 to the present, every single line-up and substitutions!