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Steven Gerrard has likened 'nightmare' Liverpool transfer target to prime Fernando Torres

Ollie Watkins is being linked with a move to Liverpool.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)


Liverpool could be in the market for a striker this summer, with Darwin Núñez potentially being sold. It's no secret that Núñez has struggled to make the impact most expected when he signed from Benfica two years ago. The $82m (£65m/€76m) signing had impressed Liverpool when Benfica was matched with Liverpool in the 2021/22 Champions League quarter final stage, with Núñez scoring in both games.

Núñez then replaced Sadio Mané as the man to lead the Liverpool line, after the Senegalese forward left to join Bayern Munich. Yet Núñez's performances have fluctuated up and down since arriving: mesmerizing one moment, maddening the next.

Last season, Núñez was guilty of missing more 'big' chances than any striker in Europe's top five leagues, with 47. Núñez started the season well, but his form plummeted after Christmas, and he was dropped to the bench several times by Jürgen Klopp in the final months of the German's reign as boss.

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Across his two seasons in the Premier League, the Uruguayan has missed a massive 47 'big' chances, while only scoring 20 goals. As a result of Núñez's wastefulness in front of goal, it's being reported that Liverpool is considering other alternatives, with Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins high on the list.

According to HITC, Liverpool is looking at bringing in Watkins, after the Villa forward produced another tremendous season. The English striker finished the campaign with 27 goals in all competitions as Villa qualified for the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

Moreover, Watkins has the seal of approval from Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who coached Watkins while manager at Villa and likened him to former Liverpool hero Fernando Torres.

"I picture Ollie Watkins at his best when he's really front-footed, aggressive with that bit between his teeth," said Gerrard. "He is a lovely player on the eye with the goals he scores and his technical ability. He reminds me in a lot of ways, in terms of his profile and how he goes about it, of a player I played with – Fernando Torres."

Torres rifled in some 81 goals in 142 games in all competitions for Liverpool between 2007 and January 2011, but his relationship with fans soured when he joined Chelsea midway through the 2010/11 season. Liverpool then used the money earned from the sale of Torres to buy one Luis Suárez.

Liverpool.com says: Nunez's future remains unknown at this stage. A bid could arrive much later in the summer, yet his form isn't going to produce a queue of buyers, and especially not with the price Liverpool would potentially want for the striker. Perhaps the club will give him one more season, and see if Arne Slot can smoothen the rougher elements of the forward's game.