Liverpool: Nunez is the dream Mane heir

Liverpool blew Manchester United to smithereens on Sunday evening, obliterating their historic, venomous rivals 7-0 at Anfield in one of the most shocking and inconceivable results of modern times.

In a campaign holding so much peril, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds rekindled their former vigour in the most resounding of fashion.

Man United, having last week clinched the Carabao Cup – the club’s first silverware since 2016/17 – have been resurgent under Erik ten Hag’s tutelage this year, and despite the ignominious recent loss still boast a seven-point advantage in the Premier League table to Liverpool, whose recent purple patch has finally instigated a climb up the table, away from mid-table obscurity.

There have been glaring question marks erected above Merseyside since the turn of the campaign, with Liverpool – quadruple-chasing and FA Cup & Carabao Cup-gleaning last term – facing the inconceivable prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League, a proposition now seeming far more realistic.

The powers that be at Anfield will be hoping that the monumental victory can serve as a watershed moment for Klopp’s squad, setting course of silver-laden success over the coming years.

The imperious Mohamed Salah stole the show, plundering a brace of goals and assists, but seasonal signings Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez scored doubles of their own, and a devastating new offensive force might just be borne.

Who is Liverpool’s next Sadio Mane?

When Sadio Mane was sold to Bayern Munich for £35m last summer after years of splendid servitude, there was trepidation aplenty that Liverpool’s once roaring front three, revered and enviously admired by all, had run its course, fears that were grudgingly confirmed as the wobbly start to the season capitulated into a truly woeful year.

Will Darwin Nunez become world-class at LFC?





Mane scored 120 goals and registered 48 assists from 269 outings for the Reds, imperative in winning a wealth of major honours, notably the Premier League and Champions League, in the most illustrious spell in the outfit’s modern history.

To counter his summer exit, Liverpool completed the club-record £85m signing of exciting young forward Nunez from Benfica, and despite offering glimpses of brilliance, there has been plenty of criticism over the Uruguayan’s wayward shooting boots.

In the graphic listed above, Nunez’s impact is clearly discernible with 14 goals already, and if these are the numbers on offer for the phenom before he finds his feet, the Premier League must be quaking at the thought of his potential under Klopp’s wing.

Typically a centre-forward, Nunez has indeed forged 11 appearances on the left-wing in Luis Diaz’s absence – the Colombian is out with a long-term injury – and scored seven goals, with his impact against the Red Devils an illustration of his prowess, with the 16-cap star praised for making a “big difference” by The Athletic’s James Pearce.

Hailed as a “monster” by sports writer Charlotte Coates, the £140k-per-week machine ranks among the top 1% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s top five divisions for goals and shots per 90, as per FBref, and given Mane’s formerly prolific expertise, the Senegalese sensation winning the Premier League top scorer in 18/19, the similarities are illuminating.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Let’s start easy – how many points did Liverpool collect in their 2021/22 Premier League campaign?

Nunez is an unrefined diamond, but make no mistake, he is a glistening gem.

The inflated price tag raised eyebrows, hardly helped by his wayward shooting – Nunez has missed 17 big chances from 19 Premier League matches –  but the quality this South American sensation exudes is undeniable, and as Klopp’s new-look Liverpool starts to slot into place, Nunez will only grow into his talismanic role.

Mane’s departure has been sorely felt, but the winds of change hint at fruitful future fortunes, with the ‘monstrous’ striker the new catalyst.