DOHA, QATAR - Thursday, November 24, 2022: Uruguay's Darwin Núñez during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Uruguay and South Korea at the Education City Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Darwin Nunez now has a chance to send Liverpool coach to the AXA early

Darwin Nunez will look to make it eight consecutive games finding the back of the net for Uruguay, which could start one Liverpool coach’s pre-season early.

Nunez made history with his goal against Bolivia last week, equalling the legendary Hector Scalone by scoring in seven games in a row for Uruguay.

In doing so, he helped almost guarantee his country’s place in the quarter-finals of Copa America, having won their first two games of Group C.

Next up, on Monday night, is a clash with hosts the United States, with Uruguay knowing that a point will be enough to ensure progress to the last eight.

USA are currently second in the group, but if they fail to win and Panama beat Bolivia – who are pointless after two losses – they will exit the tournament at the first time of asking.

2WG0N6P Deutschland. 31st Jan, 2024. Torwarttrainer beim Bundesligisten Borussia Monchengladbach Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

That makes it a potentially defining clash for goalkeeping coach Fabian Otte, who joins Liverpool this summer as part of Arne Slot‘s new backroom staff.

Otte has agreed to take over as the Reds’ new head of first-team goalkeeper coaching, but will only do so upon the USA’s departure from Copa America – as he currently holds a similar role with the national team.

READ: LFC have hired “unique” coach who “can take anyone to a different level”

Therefore, Nunez’s fortunes with Uruguay could determine when Otte links up with the Liverpool squad for pre-season.

An exit from the group stage could feasibly allow the 33-year-old to join his new club around the start of training, with Slot expected to begin work with his squad on Friday.

If not, Liverpool risk starting pre-season without either of their senior goalkeeping coaches, with Claudio Taffarel also working as part of the Brazil national team staff.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeping coach John Achterberg during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds have seen their previous head of goalkeeping John Achterberg depart to take up a position with Al-Ettifaq, who have also appointed academy coach Andy Firth.

Achterberg’s assistant, Jack Robinson, also left the club this summer, while veteran backup Adrian – who recently received his UEFA B Licence for coaching – is due to join Real Betis after his contract expired on Monday.

In the absence of Otte and Taffarel, Liverpool are likely to draft in academy staff for the first days and weeks of pre-season.

That could see U21s goalkeeping coach Mark Morris – who began pre-season with the academy on Monday – start work with Caoimhin Kelleher and his backup group.

Keller is likely to be supported by youngsters Marcelo Pitaluga, Fabian Mrozek and Harvey Davies in early pre-season, with Alisson and Vitezslav Jaros joining later in the summer.