Jurgen Klopp has hailed new club-record signing Darwin Nunez as a “wonderful player,” after the striker made the £85 million switch from Benfica on Tuesday.
Liverpool have moved swiftly to tie up a deal for Nunez, who arrives as an early replacement for Sadio Mane, and were willing to break the bank to secure his services.
The deal is worth up to £85 million, which stands as significantly more than the fee paid to sign Virgil van Dijk in 2018, and signals the Reds’ intent heading into the new campaign.
Klopp led his side to three finals and a tense final day in the Premier League, but there is a clear sense of keeping momentum going ahead of a renewed charge in 2022/23 and beyond.
Speaking to the club’s official website following the announcement of Nunez’s move, Klopp couldn’t hide his excitement, hailing him as the perfect fit for his side.
“This is super news, really super news,” Klopp said.
“I’m very grateful to everyone at the club for making it happen. We’ve shown decisiveness and ambition in equal measure.
“Darwin is a wonderful player; already really good but so much potential to get even better. That’s why it’s so exciting, to be honest.
“His age, his desire, his hunger to be even better than he currently is. His belief in our project and what we are looking to do as a club.
“He is as excited by us as we are by him, which makes for a great relationship, when you appreciate each other’s strengths. That is certainly the case here.
“He thinks we suit him and we believe he is the right fit for us – so let’s do it.
“He has all the pieces we look for. He can set a tempo, he brings energy, he can threaten space from central and wide areas. He is aggressive and dynamic with his movement.
“He plays without fear, he’s powerful. I know he will excite our supporters.
“It’s important we all recognise we are getting a ‘work in progress’ with Darwin. He recognises that himself, for sure. I love how much focus and humility he has.
“We have wonderful attacking options already and he becomes part of that now.
“So there is no pressure on him at all. He signs for a very long time and we intend to nurture his talent and see it grow.
“He’s the latest addition to the wonderful LFC family and I’m sure our supporters will make him feel at home from the first moment he has the Liver bird on his chest.”
The signing of Nunez feels like a significant moment in Klopp’s continued rebuilding of his squad, as he looks to create another special Liverpool team in the remaining four years of his contract.
The 22-year-old’s arrival, coupled with that of Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho and hopefully Aberdeen youngster Calvin Ramsay, has given the Reds a fresh injection of youth.
It seems likely that Nunez will lead the line in place of the outgoing Mane, with Diaz and Mohamed Salah on either flank, in what looks like a mouthwatering, new-look front three.
The hope is that the Uruguayan follows in the footsteps of compatriot Luis Suarez, who proved to be one of Liverpool’s greatest attacking players of all time between 2011 and 2014.
Nunez’s record of 26 goals in just 24 Primeira Liga starts last season, not to mention six in six in the Champions League – two against Klopp’s men – is certainly proof that a new potent attacker has arrived at Anfield.