Daniel Sturridge’s captivating analysis of Darwin Nunez – and how he can improve

Daniel Sturridge has provided a fascinating analysis of Darwin Nunez’s finishing after the Uruguayan missed a golden opportunity to put the Reds in front against Luton at Kenilworth Road.

Sturridge scored 67 goals in 160 appearances across his six-and-a-half seasons at Anfield, and is widely regarded as one of the best finishers in the club’s recent history.

Injuries ultimately hampered him from carving out an even better Liverpool career, but he did net 24 times during the 2013/14 season in which the Reds came agonisingly close to lifting the Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers.

He also earned himself a Champions League medal before departing the club in 2019, and the former No. 15 had plenty of complimentary words to say about the current No. 9 during punditry duties ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Tottenham.

Sturridge did, however, cite ‘composure’ as a reason for Nunez having not yet hit his full potential, with a series of recent misses giving fans some cause for concern.

“I think he brings excitement and aggression in attack in terms of the runs he makes, he’s an exciting player to watch and I think he is a defender’s nightmare,” said Sturridge on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.

“Of course, one of the things he will have to improve on is his finishing which I think will come in time, but in terms of type of the player he is, he is going to get a load of opportunities in games based on the runs he makes.

“He needs to be coached, he needs to do training sessions where he’s making them runs at pace and practising particular types of finishes when he’s doing it at match tempo, because it does seem like he’s not being composed and relaxing.”

Nunez does already have seven goals to his name so far this season and single-handedly snatched three points away at Newcastle back in August with a late brace off the bench.

Sturridge added that the 24-year-old has mastered the art of specific types of goals, but that training will be the key to adding more strings to his bow.

LUTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 5, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Luton Town FC and Liverpool FC at Kenilworth Road. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think the Newcastle goals are a prime example in that he’s got that in his locker, whipping it across the goalkeeper on the other side,” he continued.

“It comes with analysing yourself first, looking at your shots and being critical of yourself. Then analysing other players and looking at ‘Why are they scoring? What are they doing different?’

“I analysed so many guys and my finishing could have improved even more than it was as well, so no striker has every tool.

“[The power finish], unless you’ve perfected it like an Alan Shearer, Harry Kane people like that, [Jimmy Floyd] Hasselbaink, it’s very difficult to consistently hit the target with that type of finish.

“So it’s more about what type of player you are in the end.”