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Jurgen Klopp pleads for patience with Darwin Nunez’s faltering as he admits £85m summer deal ‘still adjusting’ to Liverpool – but insists Uruguayan ‘not worried’ about his slow start
- Darwin Nunez has struggled since his high-profile move from Benfica in the summer
- Jurgen Klopp defended the attacker and said it takes time to click
- The attacker is ‘still adapting’ to his new club, his manager insisted this week
Jurgen Klopp urged patience over Darwin Nunez’s high profile summer signing, claiming the Uruguayan is ‘still adjusting’ to life at Liverpool.
Nunez, 23, came from Benfica to Liverpool this summer with a £85million transfer but has so far found it difficult to settle for an early-season red card and the poor overall form of the squad contributing to his apparent lack of progress.
His manager, however, seemed unperturbed by his struggle. Speaking to the press ahead of Liverpool’s crucial Champions League group stage draw at home to Rangers, Klopp defended the player amid mounting criticism.
Darwin Nunez has so far found it difficult to adjust to life at Liverpool in his short time in England
He said: ‘Of course he is still adjusting. Our players always adapt. New players come in and everyone talks about it and wants them to shine right away, sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t.’
Klopp revealed on Sunday that he, his assistant Pep Lijnders and Nunez had a conversation themselves in which they told him, among other things, that it was important that he did not start to ‘worry’ about his slow start in England.
‘I had a long conversation with Pep Lijnders yesterday, because my Spanish or Portuguese is still not better. We just told him: we’re perfectly calm, so it’s very important in our situation that he doesn’t worry. He doesn’t look like he’s worried or anything.
Jurgen Klopp admitted the player headbutted Joachim Andersen and the subsequent red card didn’t help him
‘[The reason] why he didn’t start this game? [against Brighton] he was from international and had dumbs in the hamstrings and when you get this information from the medical team they kind of give minutes of how long he gets to play. Don’t start with someone who is only allowed to play for 20 or 15 minutes.’
Klopp went on to admit that the three-game ban after headbutting Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen in August did not help him.
“Obviously the three-game suspension didn’t help him settle in, that’s for sure,” he said. “But that’s about all. The team does not fly, that [doesn’t make it] easier for a striker, especially a finisher.
“We create chances, but it’s not like everything clicks and we only put in one player and he finishes our situations. That’s not as bad as I’d like right now and that’s all.’
Nunez has one goal so far this season for his new club, coming against Fulham on the first weekend of the season.
Klopp said they are not worried about Nunez’s current form and urged him not to panic either