Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised striker Darwin Nunez for his performance in the team’s pre-season win against Leicester, but has also emphasized the importance of defensive readiness. Nunez scored his fourth goal of the summer in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Leicester, but Klopp noted that all of his forwards will need to be strong defensively in order to earn a regular spot in the team’s front three.
Injuries and a red card hampered Nunez’s progress last season, but Klopp has been impressed with his form this summer. “You can see he’s a handful – speed and a typical goal scorer, being there, smelling it and finishing it off,” Klopp said. “In training, he looks really good. Being fit helps.”
However, Klopp stressed that the competition for places will be intense next season, with Nunez battling with Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, and Diogo Jota for a spot in the team. “The ticket into the team will be the readiness to defend,” Klopp explained. “I’ve never heard about a team being really successful with sloppy defending. It doesn’t happen.”
Liverpool will face Bayern Munich in their next pre-season match before wrapping up their preparations against Darmstadt. The early signs suggest that Nunez is capable of putting himself firmly in the picture for a regular spot in Liverpool’s front three, but he will need to continue impressing Klopp with his all-around game in order to secure his place in the team.