Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez is “full of fire” heading into Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final at home to West Ham despite a recent goal drought, according to assistant manager Pep Lijnders.
Sunday’s goalless draw with Manchester United means Nunez has gone 10 Liverpool games without finding the back of the net.He last scored for the Reds in their 2-1 League Cup fourth-round win at Bournemouth in early November, but Lijnders said Tuesday that there was more to Nunez’s game than goals alone.
“I think Darwin is full of desire, you see this in each game, and if we would only judge players on the goals that would be so unfair, because in our way, always when we reach our targets or really were there to compete, it was always about the collective,” he explained.
“I feel there is a good connection between Mo (Salah) and Darwin, the way they see each other, assist each other, and I feel above everything that Darwin is playing a much better season than last year, the way how he defends for the team, goes, chases back, his counter press as well.
“He helps us a lot when we are deep and we can play with him as a reference.”
The 24-year-old Nunez has seven goals so far this season after scoring 15 in all competitions last term, having arrived at Anfield from Portuguese giants Benfica in 2022.
“It’s a long time we play with a false nine, and now it’s Darwin Nunez,” Lijnders added.
“He is learning but I like a lot, and I think this guy is full of fire.
“That’s what our stadium likes and that’s what we need as well, to lead the line in this way. He can only become better.”