Darwin Nunez, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, can dispel doubts about his price tag by scoring goals.
The Uruguay international, who joined the Reds this summer in what could be a club-record £85 million move from Benfica, would not be a “normal human being” if he did not feel some financial pressure.
There was some backlash on social media after the 23-year-old failed to score in two 30-minute cameos in Liverpool’s first two pre-season friendlies in Thailand and Singapore, but Nunez made amends with four goals as a second-half substitute in the 5-0 win over RB Leipzig.
“We always think that if you pay a lot of money, the players don’t feel any pressure or whatever,” Klopp said.
“They’re all completely normal people, and (when) the first touch isn’t perfect, all of a sudden…
“This generation of players reads social media, which is stupid, but they do it.” You suddenly get in a hurry and these kinds of things.
“Obviously, that’s the best way to end all these debates.” He’s a different striker than what we have or had, but he’s an excellent one.”
Luis Garcia, a former Liverpool legend, urged Nunez to “work harder” following his poor performance against Manchester United.
When asked if Liverpool fans should be worried about Nunez, Garcia told ESPN, “No, not at all.” What I’ve realized is that he’ll have to put in more effort. Liverpool plays differently than Benfica. He is a very intelligent player with excellent football intelligence. But he needs to go back and press.
“He struggled in both games against Manchester United and Crystal Palace.” He wants to demonstrate that he is prepared to play in front of the press and under the high pressure that Klopp applies to Liverpool.
“However, after three or four runs, he was exhausted.” He had a few chances, but I believe it was due to exhaustion. He only had three [training] sessions before playing against Manchester United. He had ten training sessions before facing Crystal Palace, but only played 30 minutes.
“I believe his movements and the way he plays will benefit [Liverpool].” But they must wait. He must be physically prepared.