Arne Slot sent brutal Darwin Núñez warning amid Liverpool comparison to Arsenal and Man City

(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Ex-England striker Jermain Defoe has sent a warning to Arne Slot over his potential striking options at Liverpool next season. Slot is primed to take over at Anfield after a compensation package was agreed with Feyenoord for the Dutchman.

He has made no secret of his desire to take over at Liverpool but an announcement is not expected until the end of the season. Both sides have two matches remaining this term, with Liverpool preparing to bid farewell to Jürgen Klopp.

Despite scoring an impressive 81 times in the Premier League, the Reds' title challenge has faltered in the past month due to a profligacy in front of goal. One man who has regularly come under the spotlight is Darwin Núñez.

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The Uruguayan enjoyed an excellent first half of the campaign but his form has dipped and he has managed just one goal in the past two months, and a very fortunate one at that, in the win over Sheffield United.

He has started Liverpool's last two matches on the bench and deleted Liverpool-related content from his social media pages this week after being the subject of unjust abuse. Núñez also blocked a series of Liverpool fan accounts.

His social media behavior has fueled speculation over his Liverpool future with Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo reporting that he is keen on joining Barcelona this summer. It is claimed Núñez could be a potential replacement for Robert Lewandowski at the Nou Camp.

There is no indication that Liverpool is eager to sell him but Defoe believes a more efficient finisher, like teammate Diogo Jota, is needed next season. "I think Jota is probably the best finisher. He actually finishes, like calculated finishes. But Núñez and Salah, they shoot if that makes sense," he told Premier League Productions.

"The chances are coming consistently but when you miss them — and you are competing against Man City and Arsenal, whose players are converting the chances — you are going to fall behind."

Salah and Núñez are Liverpool's top scorers this season, with 25 and 18 respectively. Salah's future also remains uncertain with his contract having just a year to run. Saudi Pro League clubs are likely to reignite their interest at the end of the season. says: Nobody expected Liverpool to challenge for the title but it was right in the mix up until the final weeks of the campaign. And a big reason why the Reds will finish third is its wayward finishing in key matches. In the matches against Palace and United, Liverpool wasted a host of chances, and things could have worked out very differently.

Núñez doesn't deserve to be singled out and he has been much improved this season. Jamie Carragher doesn't think he is the man to lead Liverpool back to the title as its No.9 and that view may well be shared by Slot. Any interested club will have to cough up a big fee to get him though.