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‘Easy to write him off’ – Alexander-Arnold backs Darwin Nunez to silence critics but concedes Liverpool miss Mane

13:32 WAT 13/01/2023
Darwin Nunez Liverpool 2022-23
Trent Alexander-Arnold admits Darwin Nunez has become “easy to write off”, but those in Liverpool’s squad expect the Uruguayan to silence his critics.
  • Big money invested in striker
  • Has missed several big chances
  • Looking to provide attacking spark

WHAT HAPPENED? The Reds invested £64 million ($78m) in Nunez when snapping him up from Benfica in the summer transfer window of 2022. The South American frontman has netted 10 times across all competitions, but the 23-year-old has made as many headlines for missing a Premier League-high number of big chances and questions continue to be asked of whether he can become the prolific presence that Liverpool need to lead their line.

WHAT THEY SAID: Alexander-Arnold is convinced that Nunez – who is nursing an untimely knock at present - will come good, telling Sky Sports: “He’s a player who I think it’s easy to just write him off, it’s easy to say he’s not scoring goals. But he’s getting himself into areas and places where he’s able to hurt the opposition and that’s all you can really ask. We have faith that the goals will start coming. No-one here is thinking about that. We are all behind him and we are all supporting him. It’s always good to see him on the scoresheet, but as long as the team wins, that’s all anyone cares about.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While backing Nunez to prove his worth, Alexander-Arnold admits that Liverpool are still coming to terms with Sadio Mane’s departure for Bayern Munich – with the Senegalese forward having struck up a formidable partnership with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino across six trophy-laden years at Anfield. Alexander-Arnold added: “It’s always going to be different, but I think that’s just part of football. I don’t think you can get used to playing with certain players because the football world chops and changes every single season. You can’t just rely on certain players. Sadio is a world-class player and has been for many years. He’s someone who will help any team he’s at and do the things he does to a level that others can’t, so of course we are going to miss what he brings to the team. But we’ve got other players with different qualities who bring different things to our game who will help us in what we need to do.”

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WHAT NEXT? Liverpool have been struggling for consistency across the field in 2022-23, leading to them sitting seventh in the Premier League table, but they have key men to come back from injury and believe that momentum can be re-established in domestic and European competition – starting in a meeting with Brighton on Saturday.