LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He had a point to prove” – Trent Alexander-Arnold on Darwin Nunez debut

Trent Alexander-Arnold has hailed the instant impact of a player “with a point to prove” in Darwin Nunez, who came off the bench to seal a 3-1 win over Man City.

Nunez was unfairly targeted for his early performances in pre-season, as a club-record signing, but has already shaken off the criticism.

After four goals in one half against RB Leipzig, the 23-year-old came off the bench in the Community Shield to win the penalty for Mo Salah to make it 2-1, before scoring one of his own to seal the victory.

It was an emphatic display that saw Nunez revel in the celebrations, earning a yellow card for taking off his shirt as he roared at the travelling Kop.

Speaking to ITV after the game, Alexander-Arnold admitted that, as debut performances go, Nunez’s bow “has got to be up there.”

2JK4EME Darwin Nunez of Liverpool scores the third goal for Liverpool during the FA Community Shield match between Liverpool and Manchester City at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, England on 30 July 2022. Photo by Scott Boulton. Editorial use only, license required for commercial use. No use in betting, games or a single club/league/player publications. Credit: UK Sports Pics Ltd/Alamy Live News

“He won the penalty, scored a goal, had a one-on-one. He looks lively, very lively,” the right-back enthused.

“He’s someone who has been bought in to score goals, that kind of player for us. He’s proved he can do that today.

“He’s a top player, a young player who you can tell is willing to learn.

“He’s bonded well with the lads, everyone’s got on well with him.

“He’s come in, got his head down, worked hard so far and knows that his position is not just going to be there because we’ve bought him this summer, he’s got to earn it.

“He’s come on today with a point to prove and he’s scored us the goal to clinch it, and obviously won the penalty for us as well.”

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The addition of Nunez only strengthens an already packed Liverpool squad, even despite the departure of Sadio Mane, and the hope will be that more silverware follows.

Having won the FA Cup and League Cup and only narrowly missed out on the Premier League and Champions League last season, expectations are high for 2022/23.

Alexander-Arnold, though, is keen to take it one game at a time.

“Who knows what will happen over the course of the season?” he mused.

“All we can do is prepare as well as we have this pre-season.

“Our aim is to be as fit as possible to be able to push from the very first kick of the season to the very last, like we did last year, and hopefully win many trophies along the way.

“For us, this was the perfect start. But it’s a long season and we hope to win trophies along the way.”