Football News

Cesc Fabregas backs Darwin Núñez to follow in Mo Salah’s footsteps

By James Amey

Published: 18:39, 19 January 2024

From the sublime to the ridiculous, Darwin Núñez’s time at Liverpool has been intriguing, infuriating and at some points just unlucky. 

After joining from Benfica last summer for a reported £64 million, Darwin Núñez has scored 23 goals and provided a further 14 assists in 72 appearances across all competitions for the Reds, but has missed countless big chances and has been caught offside more times than he probably should have. Some of his misses have seen him receive criticism from parts of the media and opposition fans, but it’s his all round game that has showed exactly why he should be starting despite his troubles in front of goal, with Liverpool clearly a better team when he is in the side.

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This was proven perfectly in Liverpool’s recent 2-1 victory over Fulham in the first round of their Carabao Cup semi-final last week, where he topped the stats for touches inside the opposition box (12), shots (4), shots on target (3), take-ons completed (3) and chances created (2) despite coming on in the 55th minute. He came off the bench to assist both of Liverpool’s goals in their comeback win to take his assist tally to 10 for the season across all competitions in just 167 minutes of action, with only Bukayo Saka (11) providing more among Premier League players.

Even when “Captain Chaos” isn’t scoring he is bringing something to the team and Salah’s former teammate at Chelsea, Cesc Fabregas, believes that people need to start being patient with the forward and goals will come.

“You need to understand that people go through some difficult moments. I could tell you 10,000 players that we felt sometimes, ‘Oh, that’s not a player. “You need your coach, your staff to support you. That’s why I always admired Arsene [Wenger]. Sometimes we need to be a little bit more patient than others.” he told the BBC.

The perfect example was Liverpool’s all-time top goalscorer in the Premier League Mohamed Salah, with the Spaniard believing it was “impossible” for the Egyptian to reach the heights he has after seeing him at Chelsea.

“He (Salah) was not so prolific in front of goal. Maybe it was lack of chances. You could see his trends. You could see he was quick. You could see that he was attacking the spaces. But then when he had one against ones, maybe he was not as strong as he is now.”

Who is the heir to Mohamed Salah at Liverpool? Check out our video below as we analyse the PERFECT replacements for Liverpool…

This season, Nunez ranks in the top five in the Premier League for shots (58) and shots on target (24) and is getting in all the right positions, but also ranks first for big chances missed (18) and second for players that have underperformed their xG the most (-3.66) after Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin (-4.58). So it was no surprise when he was overheard after the Fulham game saying “the ball just doesn’t want to go in”.

PLAYER xG GOALS DIFFERENCE
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 7.58 3 -4.58
Darwin Nunez 8.66 5 -3.66
Nicolas Jackson 10.59 7 -3.59
Neal Maupay 5.22 2 -3.22
Enzo Fernandez 4.93 2 -2.93

 

With Mohamed Salah away with Egypt for AFCON, the Reds need him move than ever and even though we dont know which Darwin Nunez will show up this weekend against Bourenmouth, we are backing it to be chaos once again.

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