Liverpool’s 4-point transfer checklist – and why “insane” Nunez fit the bill

There are four key character traits that Liverpool search for when recruiting players and Darwin Nunez certainly ticked the boxes, says Pep Lijnders.

The club are on the cusp of a crucial summer, with an overhaul expected as five players are out of contract and there’s a clear need to bolster the midfield and defence.

And while on their hunt for the “right player,” there are four key traits that Lijnders name-checked: mentality, character, passion and ambition.

In a sit-down interview with Michael Owen on NBC Sports, Jurgen Klopp‘s right-hand man discussed the key when signing of players that are full of potential.

“First of all, it’s about bringing the right player in,” Lijnders said. “The right mentality, the character, the passion for training, the ambition to go to the next level themselves.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Monday, December 26, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez embraces manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Everything you saw in the videos, or when you speak to him breathes that passion for the game, for the club.

“We will do everything to help you make the next step to become a consistent Premier League player, who makes a difference.

“The responsibility the moment you sign for us becomes 50-50. It’s you and us.”

Owen then followed on the discussion with Nunez’s raw potential, a player that ticked the aforementioned boxes at an “insane” level for Liverpool.

And it has not been hard to see why!

“We love to work with these ones because the passion is insane, the ambition is even higher than the passion,” Lijnders said of Nunez, with enthusiasm taking over his whole body.

“The love for the ball, the goal. Each game he creates six chances by himself.

“This is a new chapter, it’s LFC back to the real No. 9 chapter, basically.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 6, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (R) celebrates after Mohamed Salah (L) scores the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think whatever front three you put now, Jots, Darwin, Bobby, Mo, Luis, Cody – you have a front three.

“One who can have the willingness to work really hard and two, who can create speed-ups in different ways.”

The attack has an embarrassment of riches with Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Nunez and Firmino, even if only for the remainder of the season.

With Nunez, Liverpool made a purposeful choice to adapt but in the words of Lijnders, “if you buy the right players you have both [player adapts to Liverpool and Liverpool to the player].”