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It’s done! Confirmation Liverpool has sealed there talented player…..



It’s done! Confirmation Liverpool has sealed there talented player…..

Darwin Nunez continues to split opinion in the Premier League as he once again endured a difficult day at the office in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Brentford.

The £64m summer signing might have 15 goals during his maiden season in England – nine of them in the Premier League – but it’s not always been plain sailing. At times, Jurgen Klopp has conceded the Uruguayan isn’t quite in sync with his own and his team-mates’ demands. While Nunez’s lack of English is also proving to be an issue.

Since the March international break, coinciding with Diogo Jota’s return to goalscoring ways, Luis Diaz’s return from injury, and Liverpool’s return to form, Nunez has often found himself out of the starting XI. And while Klopp has started the 23-year-old in the Reds’ narrow victories over Fulham and Brentford, he has ultimately prompted more questions than answers.

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He would at least win the penalty against the Cottagers that earned Liverpool a 1-0 win in midweek. Yet he would boast just one shot in the entire game, and that would be off-target.

Such a total would rise to two shots against Brentford, yet one would be off-target and the other blocked. In truth, he should have done better when shooting wide after being picked out expertly when unmarked by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Withdrawn shortly after the hour mark after another frustrating evening, Nunez’s place in Kopite hearts is at least secured. Granted another standing ovation, supporters love the agent of chaos’ work-rate and chant his name at every opportunity. A firm fan-favourite already, he bears the weight of a willingness to succeed greater than most.

Yet Nunez arguably hasn’t been chaotic at all for a number of weeks now, instead looking just as raw as when he first joined the club last summer but without the frequent goal threat. A lack of game time over the past six weeks won’t have helped such matters.

For the record, Nunez remains a ‘long-term project’, with Klopp saying as much last month, and the player himself has already pointed out how this season reminds him of his first year at Benfica when goals were hard to come by. The 34 he would fire in during his second year with the Portuguese giants would earn a club-record switch to Anfield.

It’s easy to forget, considering the scrutiny he has faced this season, that only Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah (who netted his 30th goal of the season against Brentford), Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Ivan Toney are the only Premier League players to have scored more goals than Nunez in all competitions this season.

His total of 15 goals is also matched by Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, Gabriel Martinelli, Callum Wilson and Ollie Watkins. Perhaps the fact Nunez’s Premier League record stands at nine goals, with the latter three, who have already long-since established themselves as ‘proven’ in the English top-flight, all bettering such a total, partly explains why they continued to be lauded for their efforts while he has been labelled a ‘s**t Andy Carroll’.

Meanwhile, it was a case of same but different for Toney at the other end at Anfield on Saturday as Brentford were left frustrated. Like Nunez, he would fail to hit the target as he recorded just one shot on target. Yet the in-form striker was a threat against Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk, even if he didn’t manage to sting Alisson Becker’s gloves.

“He’s one of the best strikers in the Premier League. I love watching him play,” Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher would declare when commentating on the game for Sky Sports. One backheel from the 27-year-old, which nearly led to a goalscoring opportunity, was even lauded as “outrageous” by Carragher.

Unlike Nunez, Toney looks so calm, confident and in control. Having worked his way up the Football League, the England international is certainly making the most of his second chance at Premier League football following a disappointing stint at Newcastle United earlier in his career.

While unable to add to his tally against Liverpool, the striker now boasts 32 Premier League goals from 68 games and continues to demonstrate his all-round game against English football’s leading defenders. Boasting the pace to get in behind a defence, he is physical enough to bully defenders and be a threat in the air, while he is also comfortable coming short and picking out his team-mates.

A boyhood Reds fan, if not for Nunez’s presence at Anfield, you wouldn’t have been surprised if Liverpool suddenly found themselves linked with Toney. Yet, having brought in Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Fabio Carvalho along with the Uruguay international over the past 18 months, their attacking revamp is, barring a Roberto Firmino replacement, seemingly complete.

Toney has come a long way in a short time. As Klopp’s side were lifting the Champions League and Premier League in 2019 and 2020, e was in League One, scoring goals for fun for Peterborough United. Such form would earn him a move to Brentford, eventually costing £10m, as he fired them into the Premier League.

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony is a Liverpool fan himself and has regularly urged the Reds to sign his players, past and present. With no consideration to profit and sell-on clauses, we’re sure! Last summer, he even insisted they should have signed Toney instead of Nunez.

“Let me ask you the next question. Darwin Nunez, £85m, Ivan Toney. Who is the better number nine?” he told The Hard Truth podcast.

“Nunez might have a hell of a career, he might do really well for Liverpool, Liverpool like to be direct – let’s not joke Liverpool are a direct football team, all of our goals come from full-backs and crosses.

“We are a little direct and it suits us, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re telling me an Ivan Toney in Liverpool’s team wouldn’t score 25 goals with those full-backs delivering. Come off it!”

Prior to interest in Nunez emerging, MacAnthony said on the same podcast: “Ivan is on a different level. Is there a better number nine at Chelsea? Is there a better number nine at Manchester United?

“You can go and write a cheque for £100m and buy a player from Holland, or France, or Italy, and give them a year to acclimatise, or you can write a cheque and buy one of the top three number nines in the Premier League, who’s not even in the prime of his career.

“What do you do? Right now, if Liverpool had owners who would write that cheque, I’d happily have him in Liverpool’s team like that.”

Meanwhile, in 2021, he was urging the Reds to sign Toney to replace Divock Origi.

“I’m a Liverpool fan and I know my players,” MacAnthony told The Hard Truth podcast. “And I’d be delighted if we [Liverpool] signed Ivan. Give me him over (Divock) Origi any day of the week.

“Liverpool cross the ball with quality for fun and imagine Ivan getting on the end of those crosses from those full-backs! Ivan is only 24/25 and not yet at the peak of his powers. I can see him scoring 15 goals for Brentford and I can see him playing for England next season.”

To be fair to the not-at-all-biased MacAnthony, Toney has proven him right on a number of counts – though a year later than his original prediction. Scoring 14 goals last year, with 12 coming in the Premier League, he has 21 in all competitions this season and won his England debut last March.

Meanwhile, you would expect him to better such totals at a club like Liverpool, receiving deliveries from the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. While he remains a top number nine in the Premier League, the Reds spent a potential club-record £85m on Nunez and have given him this year to acclimatise.

Yet Liverpool will have no regrets at the decision they made. After all, while Nunez continues to acclimatise, he has still returned 15 goals with Reds fans convinced of his quality long before Klopp’s recent questioning of him in press conferences.

For all the attributes Toney is known for, Nunez is arguably faster and stronger. And, yes, Toney is currently enjoying his peak years, but the best is still to come from Nunez.

Carragher might love watching Toney play this season but if Liverpool’s faith in Nunez continues to be justified, he’ll enjoy watching the Reds’ own striker even more in the not too distant future.


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Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp responds to Alisson achievement amid goalkeeper interest

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson recorded his 100th clean sheet for the club as they beat Brentford on Saturday, with European qualification still possible for the Reds

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reviews Brentford game

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool kept their slim Champions League hopes alive on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Brentford, and the Reds will be keen to pick up as many points as possible in the remaining weeks.

Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game on Saturday, and it was also a momentous day for goalkeeper Alisson. The Brazil international registered his 100th Liverpool clean sheet, and has the chance to add to it in the final few weeks of the campaign.

While it has been a good weekend for Liverpool’s starting keeper, his backup could find himself on the move. Mirror Football has taken a look at both of those stories as part of the latest from around Anfield.

Klopp celebrates Alisson feat

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised Alisson after his 100th clean sheet for the Reds. The keeper was presented with a shirt with the number 100 on it to mark the achievement, prompting a joke between player and manager.

“I said this is actually for ‘100 lifesaving saves this season’. Ali said, ‘it might have been more’. Maybe he is right!” the manager said.

“His performances speak for themselves. If you know him, he is a better person than a goalie and that is already difficult. Ali should be really proud of that.”

Kelleher linked with Bees switch

Caoimhin Kelleher could make a summer move to Brentford if the Bees lose current first-choice David Raya, according to The Sun. Spanish stopper Raya is one of the men linked with a Manchester United switch if David de Gea leaves Old Trafford.

How would you solve Liverpool’s goalkeeper situation? Have your say in the comments section

Caoimhin Kelleher has played just three times this season

Kelleher made his Liverpool debut in 2019 at the age of 20. Now, though, the 24-year-old is understood to want regular first-team football after only making 20 appearances in total for the Anfield side.

The Reds are expected to want £10-12m for the Irish international. Raya, meanwhile, is valued by Brentford at around three times that sum.

Liverpool manager’s telling reaction

Jurgen Klopp is waiting to learn what punishment he will face after receiving an FA charge in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Tottenham. On Saturday, though, his response to some contentious decisions from referee Anthony Taylor told its own story.

A number of decisions went against the Reds, with Taylor – who sent off Klopp during the fiery clash with Manchester City in October – the man in the middle. This time, though, Klopp quietly stood and shook his head rather than voicing his frustrations in a more dramatic way.

“I have to say I am really happy with this hard-fought 1-0 win,” Klopp said after his team edged past Brentford. “The goal was great, the defending was great and in parts the football we played was really, really good.”