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Darwin Nunez explains how “very good talks” with Marcelo Bielsa helped his game

Darwin Nunez has sparked new calls for a starting spot with Liverpool with his two goals against Newcastle, and talks Marcelo Bielsa have helped.

In a 13-minute cameo at St James’ Park, Nunez turned the tide for 10-man Liverpool, scoring twice to secure an unlikely 2-1 victory.

His explosive impact has led many to call for him to start in the next fixture at home to Aston Villa, having so far spent every game this season as a substitute.

Nunez is clearly still a work in progress, with Jurgen Klopp explaining after the win over Newcastle that the need for “stability” has kept him out of the lineup.

But the striker is striving to improve his game, including Zoom calls with legendary Uruguay manager Bielsa.

“Some things he thinks can be better. He corrects me,” Nunez told 100% Deportes.

“For example, there is a play where the whole [opposing] team is behind, then he tells not to run in front of the second central defender, but to run behind [him].

“So the central defender loses the mark.”

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2023: Liverpool's two-goal hero Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That run could be seen for both goals against Newcastle, exploiting both Sven Botman and his replacement Dan Burn to move into space to shoot.

It is something he with have worked tirelessly on at Liverpool’s AXA Training Centre, as detailed by Neil Jones in a column for This Is Anfield in July.

“The truth is that it was a very good talk with him,” Nunez continued of Bielsa.

“Many people already told me how he is and I thought he was a good guy, a serious guy.

“Now it’s a new stage with the national team and I hope everything goes well for us because we want to give that joy again to all the people of Uruguay.”

Whether Nunez comes into starting contention for the visit of Villa on Sunday remains to be seen, with the 24-year-old fully aware of the competition for places.

“You see, there’s Salah, there’s Luis, there’s Cody, there’s Jota. They are all top-level players,” he explained.

“I’m in a big club that will have a competition between the players, but a healthy competition. That’s why we are in Liverpool.

“Now I’m in a team where the rest of the players are at the same level as me.”

After the clash with Villa, Nunez will link up with the Uruguay national team for World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Ecuador.

There, he will meet up with Bielsa for the first time in person, expecting to take the No. 9 shirt previously worn by Luis Suarez.


* Many thanks to @AndresStein05 for the translation.