Shearer defends 'unbelievable talent' Nunez following criticism

Alan Shearer defends ‘unbelievable talent’ Darwin Nunez following criticism of the Liverpool forward’s finishing, insisting ‘he has plenty of time to become a world-class striker’

  • Darwin Nunez has split opinion since joining Liverpool for £85 million in June
  • The 23-year-old has scored 10 goals in 23 games across all competitions
  • However, he has faced criticism for poor finishing after wasting key chances
  • Alan Shearer has defended the forward, but admitted he is no ‘natural finisher’ 

Alan Shearer has backed Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez to become a ‘world-class striker’ with time and the right advice, but admitted the Uruguay star ‘may not be a natural finisher.’

Nunez joined the Reds from Benfica for a club record £85 million over the summer and has split opinion among fans ever since. 

He’s scored 10 goals in 23 games across all competitions and looks a constant nuisance for opposition defenders, but has also been ridiculed for below-par finishing after wasting several big chances.

Darwin Nunez has scored 10 goals in 23 games since joining Liverpool for £85 million in June

Despite this, criticism has been levelled at the Uruguayan forward for sub-par finishing

The 23-year-old does have the backing of the Premier League’s record goal scorer, though, as Shearer told the Athletic: ‘[Nunez is] a player with unbelievable talent who may not be a natural finisher. 

‘It’s obvious, glaringly so, that the Uruguay international needs to find a bit more self-control in front of goal, but I don’t see a massive issue there.’

The former Newcastle and Blackburn striker pointed to how Nunez was always ‘involved’ for Liverpool and argued he would only get better with age.

Alan Shearer has defended the forward, but admitted he may not be a ‘natural finisher’

‘He has plenty of time to become the world-class striker that all his attributes suggest he could be and he has plenty of knowledgeable people at Liverpool to help him get there,’ Shearer said.

‘For now, it’s about the training ground, knuckling down, practising relentlessly, finding comfort in that toil and honing those skills. He’ll get there.’ 

He also pointed to comparisons with Erling Haaland and other ‘goal scoring freaks’ as unfair, seeing Nunez as more of a ‘modern forward’ in the mould of his teammate Mohamed Salah. 

He felt Nunez had suffered from comparisons with Manchester City’s Erling Haaland

The pundit added: ‘It wasn’t too long ago that a goal every other game would be viewed as a fine return for most players and perhaps Haaland, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have changed the way we view that.’

Regardless of his finishing ability, Nunez’s energy has been important for Liverpool this season, and he could be sorely missed after sitting out training through injury this week.

If serious, the knock could leave an already struggling side without four forwards when they face high-flying Brighton on Sunday.

 

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