Marcelo Bielsa and Jurgen Klopp agree on Darwin Nunez as Arne Slot must solve Liverpool issue

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JUNE 27: Darwin Núñez #19 of Uruguay looks downfield before a Copa America 2024 Group C match between Bolivia and Uruguay at MetLife Stadium on June 27, 2024 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The Darwin Nunez which appears for Liverpool and Uruguay could almost be two different players. The 25-year-old is in very contrasting form for club and country.

Nunez's final Reds goal of 2023/24 was somewhat fortunate. He charged down an attempted pass from Sheffield United goalkeeper Ivo Grbić, forcing the ball into the unguarded Anfield Road end net back in early April. The Uruguayan then failed to score in his last 10 Liverpool appearances of the campaign, albeit he only started four of the matches.

He had a similar record in international football until Marcelo Bielsa was appointed as Uruguay manager. Under the former Leeds boss, Nunez has scored 10 goals and assisted a further three in just nine games, finding the net in his last seven appearances in a row. Bielsa has been speaking about his hotshot forward, with his words echoing previous comments from Jurgen Klopp. New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot would be wise to take heed.

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Bielsa was explaining his view on how to get the best out of Nunez. "The only thing that concerns me is that he finds himself in the best position possible, as often as possible, to do what he does extraordinarily well, which is to score, to finish, to complete attacking moves, to choose where to direct the shot he's in a position to execute," he said, via ESPN.

"It would be contradictory if I said that what has value are the goals because I'm saying the opposite,” Bielsa continued. “If he scores, he scores; if he misses, he misses; does he know how to finish? He knows how to finish."

Klopp spoke similarly last month, when previewing what would be a 3-3 draw at Aston Villa which followed a 4-2 home victory over Tottenham in which Nunez spurned a good opportunity in stoppage time. “Darwin was definitely not happy missing that chance [against Spurs]. He was unlucky in so many situations, where he’s doing everything right, then the ball still doesn’t go in,” he said (via This Is Anfield).

“It’s really tough for a young man. He knows about the expectations, he has big expectations for himself. He has to go through it. It’s part of a footballer’s career. That’s all,” Klopp added.

“His problem is that he is that good that he is constantly in these moments. If he is a little bit less good, he couldn’t have chances then people would say he’s not great. How many goals did he score? 18 [overall] and 11 [in the league], not bad numbers.”

Slot will have been catching up on past Liverpool matches and will be fully aware of Nunez's struggles. The Dutchman will need to believe in him to the same extent as Klopp and Bielsa, and get him into scoring positions as often as possible. says: Slot's first pre-season will be disrupted by Euro 2024 and the Copa America. He won't mind if any of his players' late return is thanks to taking a massive confidence boost from winning a major international tournament though. Nunez perhaps needs this more than any other member of the squad ahead of a huge 2024/25 season.