Liverpool told Darwin Núñez has fundamental flaw by ruthless Premier League legend

Darwin Núñez of Liverpool showing his appreciation to the fans at the end of the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage on April 21, 2024 in London, England.
A prolific former Premier League forward has been speaking about Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez. -Credit:Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez couldn't avoid coming under the microscope even as his side hit four past Spurs. The Uruguayan was left out from the start, and caused grumbles of frustration after coming on, when he was involved as a couple of promising fast breaks broke down.

He then piled further scrutiny on himself by cryptically deleting almost all posts referencing Liverpool on his Instagram profile. That has fueled transfer speculation amid tenuous links to Barcelona.

Núñez has been the lightning rod for Liverpool angst over the past few weeks, as the end of the Premier League title challenge has coincided with a barren spell in front of goal. Though the 24-year-old's overall numbers for the season remain respectable, it's impossible not to rue the many missed chances that saw multiple pieces of silverware slip away.

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But he has certainly not been the sole offender in front of goal, and there remains plenty of optimism that he can unlock his full potential at Liverpool, with the promise of an absolutely unplayable phenomenon lurking not far beneath the surface. Of course, that relies on the record signing staying put at Anfield.

But one Premier League legend believes Liverpool will be waiting in vain if it expects Núñez to become truly elite. Jermain Defoe told Premier League Productions that Diogo Jota is the best finisher at the club.

“I think Jota is probably the best finisher,” said Defoe. “He actually finishes, like calculated finishes. Salah and Núñez, they shoot if that makes sense. They don’t finish.

“Even Núñez, in the last action when he went through on goal, the obvious solution was to go around the goalkeeper and then pass it into an empty net. But, for whatever reason, he tries to dink it over him. It’s the wrong thing to do in that situation.

"The chances, when it comes consistently, like week after week and game after game and you are missing all these chances, then you are competing against teams like Man City and Arsenal that get these chances and players are converting these chances. Then you are going to fall behind.”

Defoe is ninth on the all-time list of Premier League goal scorers, five ahead of Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian certainly has cause to question the claim that he does not 'finish', but in the case of Núñez, it's getting harder to ignore the criticism. says: The most damning truth that Defoe touches upon is that Liverpool has precious little margin for error, with Manchester City and Arsenal performing so well. It's great that Núñez gets so many chances, but there's only so long he can be applauded for that if he is only putting a small proportion in the back of the net. Titles are decided on fine margins.

However, the fact Defoe also throws Salah in this category shows that perhaps there is a way forward for Núñez, even without a drastic improvement in finishing. While he may never become a true poacher, there's reason to believe that pure volume will ultimately pay off in the long run, especially as at least some of his woes in front of goal can be chalked up to bad luck.