Why Liverpool broke its record to get the Uruguayan attacker Darwin Nunez

Liverpool announced they had signed forward Darwin Nunez from Benfica in a deal worth up to EUR 100m, breaking their transfer record. Darwin Nunez has arrived at Liverpool from Benfica, with a deal potentially reaching the club’s record of PS 85m, the striker having turned heads at Benfica. The Times of London has reported that Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez is top of the Liverpool FC transfer targets list this summer. However, the Portuguese club have pegged its asking price above $ 100m. It is doubtful that Liverpool would be willing to pay that kind of high asking price for Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez. Still, if they did, that would break their club record for transfers, which currently stands at PS75m ($100m at the time) that they paid for defender Virgil van Dijk back in January 2018.

Liverpool will be paying a total of PS85m (PS64m + PS21m in add-ons), making Benfica striker Darwin Nunez one of their most expensive signings in Premier League history. Jurgen Klopp’s latest phenom is set to join Liverpool for just over US$ 76m, with a possibility that the price could rise above $100m through performance-based incentives. Liverpool moved swiftly to beat out rivals Manchester United and Arsenal for Darwin Nunez, signing the Liverpool man on a six-year contract. Jurgen Klopp’s new phenom quickly suffered several knee injuries in his spell with Uruguayan champions 53rd-placed Penarol. Still, they managed four goals in 14 league games, leading to his move to Spanish Division Two side Almeria in 2020.

Darwin Nunez scored in every leg of Benfica’s 6-4 aggregate loss, taking his goal tally in the ten games he played in last season’s Champions League to 6. At the same time, he also helped convince soon-to-be manager Jurgen Klopp to match the then-club-record PS 85m fee for the Uruguayan international, topping the PS 75m paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018. Taller and more robust than the Red’s current options, Darwin Nunezs success rate of 40.62 per cent from aerial duels eclipses Klopp’s current squad, while his five headers were more than Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane (3) and Roberto Firmino last season.

I could have concluded that Nunez is more ideally-suited as the striker who will fill the vacant spot left by Sadio Mane at Liverpool than almost any striker in world football. At the same time, his ability as an attacking winger, possessing elite physicality and a mentally elite player, while still only 22, means that Liverpool did once more with the excellent Liverpool analytics department. Darwin Nunez may have played left-sided at times for Benfica – including, briefly, for an extended period at Anfield in the Champions League earlier in the year – but coming into Liverpool with a reputation for being an unmarked No.9. His 34 goals from 41 games this year mean that Liverpool did so with the excellent analytical Liverpool side.

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