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Liverpool legend defends Klopp’s ‘most dangerous striker’ who apparently must be ‘allowed to…



Liverpool legend defends Klopp’s ‘most dangerous striker’ who apparently must be ‘allowed to…

Liverpool legend John Barnes has lauded summer signing Darwin Nunez, who has been Jurgen Klopp’s “most dangerous striker” this season.

The Uraguay international signed for Liverpool from Benfica last summer. He joined the Premier League giants for an initial £64m and this fee could reach £85m with add-ons.

Nunez has been criticised at times this season as he is still pretty raw. But he is a player with immense potential and he has produced for Liverpool this term, with him being involved in 18 goals across all competitions.

The attacker will be an important player for Klopp in the coming seasons as the head coach looks to rebuild Liverpool.

So it is baffling that MailOnline have claimed that ‘Nunez must be a central figure at Liverpool or be allowed to leave… the £85m striker has one goal in his last 10, is yet to fully win Jurgen Klopp’s trust and the jury is out on whether he is the answer’.

This statement is rightly ripped apart in today’s Mediawatch column, as Klopp clearly trusts the 23-year-old. Only seven Liverpool players – Alisson, Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson and Jordan Henderson – have played more minutes than Nunez this season.

Barnes has understandably leapt to the defence of Nunez, who has caught the eye because of his “aggression and willingness to work”.

“I think what we need from Gakpo and Nunez is consistency rather than for them to improve. They will improve when they’re more consistent,” Barnes told MyBettingSites.

“Whilst Nunez hasn’t played a lot recently I feel as though he has been our most dangerous striker this season with his aggression and willingness to work.

“I don’t think there are any necessary improvements for them to make. They’ve got great attitudes and they work hard for the team. Next season we will see them do it more consistently.

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“Gakpo hasn’t gone under the radar because he’s played regularly and the fans are appreciating him.

“He’s come into a team that has not performed consistently. In the last four or five games Liverpool have played well and he’s contributed to that with goals.

“Nunez and Gakpo will play more consistently when Klopp has established and settled the side next season. Gakpo has been very good in the last four games or so.”

Liverpool have been linked with Sadio Mane in recent weeks as it is being reported that Bayern Munich are looking to sell him just a year after he moved to Germany.

Barnes thinks “there’s no point going back to Mane” as Liverpool are well-covered in attacking areas.

“We have to prioritise midfield. There’s no point going back to Mane when we have so many attacking players,” Barnes added.

“I love Sadio and he’s one of my favourite players but when we have Salah, Jota, Nunez, Gakpo and Diaz we have to prioritise midfield next season.”

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Marco Silva slams ’embarrassing’ penalty decision and VAR call as Liverpool close gap to…

Marco Silva has slammed the ’embarrassing’ refereeing decisions which paved the way for Liverpool to earn a narrow win over Fulham. Mo Salah scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot at Anfield on Wednesday night to keep the Reds’ faint top-four hopes alive.

Referee Stuart Attwell awarded the hosts a penalty before the break after judging Issa Diop’s attempted clearance brought Darwin Nunez down inside the box. The decision was upheld by VAR Tony Harrington, despite replays casting doubt over the level of contact, if any, from the Fulham defender.

Salah’s spot-kick proved to be the matchwinner, with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson producing two fine stops to deny Carlos Vinicius either side of the interval. Silva could not hide his fury with the penalty decision following the full-time whistle, and questioned the role of VAR after the incident.

READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp namechecks Newcastle and doubles down on top-four verdict as Liverpool win again

The Fulham boss told the Liverpool Echo: “Coming to the half-time, losing 1-0, the way they scored the goal, I have to say that is embarrassing, Today in football to give a penalty like that, after the VAR didn’t take that penalty (away) it is difficult to understand.

“I will say nothing more because after it will be difficult for me and I don’t want to create more problems for me. But it’s almost impossible to understand that penalty.

“No, I didn’t speak with the referee. It will not change anything. Why am I going to speak to him? I know what I’m going to listen in the next few days, that it was a harsh decision, when Darwin touched the ball he start to dive himself but after he touched his left leg with Issa, they are going to say it is harsh but the referee gave and after the VAR cannot take (away).

Darwin Nunez of Liverpool with Issa Diop of Fulham

“It is always the same conversation. I didn’t speak with the referee at the end or at half-time. I had some words with the fourth official. Issa told me that it is clear not penalty. Issa spoke with the referee during the second half and I know what the referee said to Issa as well.

“For us it is clear not penalty and the VAR should took that penalty or not allow that decision to go from the referee. The referee made a mistake and the VAR is there to take that decision and not allow the penalty to go on. That’s clear for me.”

It is the fifth straight victory for Liverpool, who now sit four points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United having played two more games. Jurgen Klopp’s side would move to within three points of Newcastle United if they beat Brentford on Saturday evening, with the Magpies not in action until Sunday afternoon when they host title challengers Arsenal.

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