Darwin Nunez’s Benfica team-mate on Liverpool move – “A mix of Cavani and Suarez”

Liverpool’s new £85 million striker Darwin Nunez has attributes similar to both of the legendary Uruguay strikers before him, according to a former Benfica team-mate.

Nunez is jetting in to complete his move to Anfield after Benfica confirmed they had reached an agreement with Liverpool in the early hours of Monday morning.

The 22-year-old has a lot to live up to at international level, with fellow countrymen Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani proving themselves as two of the world’s most prolific goalscorers in the last decade.

Many have compared Nunez to Cavani because of his height, but his ex-Benfica team-mate Adel Taarabt says he has traits of both players.

Asked if he thought Nunez would score goals in the Premier League, Taarabt told talkSPORT:

“One-hundred per cent, he showed it in the Champions League you see the two games that he had against Liverpool and he was amazing. 

Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez (11) before a friendly match between the United States and Uruguay on June 05, 2022 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS. (Credit Image: © Scott Winters/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

“Even after the game, the second leg, Klopp goes to him direct and said what a player he is.

“Darwin has a mix of Cavani and Suarez, he can jump, he can go behind, for me he’s a mix of both. 

“I mean 34 goals, six in the Champions League, two against Barcelona, Bayern Munich and two against Liverpool and he’s 22-years-old. 

“So the most important thing is he keeps his head and he’s focused and I think the only thing [problem] that could happen for him in Liverpool is the language barrier.”

With 34 goals in 41 games for Benfica last season, Nunez will be expected to rack up similar numbers at Anfield if he is to justify what could become a club-record transfer fee.

Taarabt, though, is in no doubt that Nunez has the attributes to succeed.

“Last season when Benfica bought him from Almeria nobody knew him really but it was already a big fee, a lot of people were surprised,” he said.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Benfica's Darwin Nunez during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between SL Benfica and Liverpool FC at the Estádio da Luz. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“But when we saw him in the first training we understood that he was going to be one of the best strikers in the world.

“He has that mentality of South Americans, he likes to win, he’s a winner, he fights, he’s very, very fast and strong as well.”

You only have to watch Nunez’s performances against Liverpool last season to see he is far from an orthodox target man.

He is comfortable playing in a wider role and will track back to help his team-mates.

Music to the ears of his new manager.