Darwin Nunez form proves Liverpool got the last laugh after Chelsea transfer talks

Darwin Nunez continued his goalscoring form for Uruguay and is joint-top scorer in Copa America
-Credit: (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

There’s no doubt Darwin Nunez’s first two years on Merseyside have been something of a rollercoaster.

Signed by the Reds in 2022 for an initial $95m (£75m/€89m) from Benfica, the Uruguayan forward has shown that on his day, he has all the tools to be world-class.

However, on too many occasions so far during his Liverpool career, Nunez’s performances on the pitch have left fans wanting. Bizarrely, the 25-year-old’s Liverpool career could have ended last summer when Chelsea were in the market for a striker. Liverpool rebuffed those advances, with the Blues instead opting to bring in Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal.

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Clearly, the Reds believe there is a player in Nunez. Now, if you were to evaluate the striker on simply putting the ball in the back of the net, Nunez has not lived up to his price tag.

His tally of 20 goals in 65 Premier League appearances is not a good enough return for a nearly $100m striker. But, the thing with Nunez is, you only need to watch him to realise just why he is such an enticing player. There are flashes of superstar in his game.

Take his recent form for Uruguay, which has him on the brink of breaking a 96-year-old record for La Celeste should he score in their next Copa America game against USA.

In their most recent game, a 5-0 win against Bolivia, Nunez raced in behind the opposition defence, displaying his raw pace before unfurling a first-time near post finish past Guillermo Viscarra. It was an example of just how devastating Nunez can be on his day – something which Liverpool fans have not seen consistently enough of from the Uruguayan.

Take his performance against Newcastle United at St James’ Park last season for example. Down to 10 men and trailing 1-0 to the Magpies, Nunez came off the bench to deliver a match-winning performance, scoring a superb brace to silence 50,000 Geordies.

There is a player in there, and Liverpool would not have sanctioned the money they paid for Nunez if they didn’t believe that. When the 25-year-old is on the pitch, things happen. It has become a cliché at this point, but when Nunez plays, he creates chaos.

Liverpool and Arne Slot will hope that Nunez will come back to Anfield after the Copa America brimming with confidence he can take into the upcoming Premier League season.