Darwin Nunez “the complete striker” – Patrick Vieira “not surprised” by £85m price tag

Jurgen Klopp is expected to hand Darwin Nunez his first Premier League start in Liverpool’s clash with Crystal Palace on Monday, and Patrick Vieira is well aware of the striker’s ability.

The Uruguayan produced a match-winning cameo off the bench in the Community Shield victory against Man City last month, before coming on to score again in the Reds’ Premier League opening day draw at Fulham.

Liverpool’s underwhelming performance at Craven Cottage has led to calls for Klopp to hand Nunez his first start against Palace, with Roberto Firmino likely to make way.

That could be bad news for Palace, who began their season with a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at Selhurst Park.

Asked about Nunez’s threat ahead of the Eagles’ trip to Anfield, manager Vieira said he was well aware of the striker before his big-money move to Liverpool.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring his side's first goal to level the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We watch games, watch football, watch it from all around Europe,” he told reporters last week.

“He was scoring goals at his previous team and he’s well known as a striker. The players know about him.

“He can run in behind, stretch the opposition team. He’s closing down back fours and centre-backs. He doesn’t give them much time on the ball – he’s a fighter, he’s determined and a hard-working centre-forward.”

Liverpool’s £85 million deal for Nunez makes him the most expensive player in the club’s history, but Vieira says he’s “not surprised” by Liverpool’s decision to pay such a price for him.

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’s the profile of a modern centre-forward who defends really well and works hard but at the same time runs in behind and scores goals,” he continued.

“When you look at his price tag you’re not surprised. He’s the complete striker.”

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of the Reds’ first home game of the season against Palace.