Sunday, January 29, 2023

´When you see the potential, stay calm´ – Klopp points to Lewandowski to ease Nunez worries

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Dec 2022

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Jurgen Klopp hopes people “stay calm” over Darwin Nunez’s mixed start at Liverpool and pointed to former player Robert Lewandowski as a reason to remain confident.

Nunez joined Liverpool in June for a fee that could eventually reach a club-record £85million, but the Uruguay international has endured an inconsistent opening to his career with the Reds.

Liverpool picked up a third consecutive league win at Aston Villa on Monday, though Nunez failed to convert any of his four big chances despite registering 1.15 xG (expected goals).

The striker came in for criticism after the game for his finishing, but Klopp urged people to remain behind the 23-year-old, and cited Lewandowski’s poor start at Borussia Dortmund as an example of how players can improve.

After signing for Klopp’s Dortmund side from Lech Poznan before the 2010-11 campaign, Lewandowski netted just eight times in 38 Bundesliga matches.

However, he went on to register 102 goals in 184 games under Klopp, helping them to two Bundesliga titles and the 2012-13 Champions League final before leaving for Bayern Munich in 2014.

Klopp believes Liverpool fans should keep the faith in Nunez, in the hopes that he will flourish as Lewandowski did.

“If you could just rewind to that time, [I was] sitting in press conferences and journalists really, when I started playing Lewandowski, they asked me ‘why is [Lucas] Barrios not playing?’,” Klopp told reporters.

“Lucas Barrios had scored 16 goals that season and was the number nine in our team, so Lewy started playing in different positions to adapt to different things, didn’t like it too much.

“The Polish journalists were not too friendly with me because he didn’t play at nine, he played in a 4-2-3-1 as a 10, I thought at the time it made absolute sense to develop his game… there’s a lot of similarities [with Nunez] to be honest.

“Lewy would tell the same story, we had shooting sessions where he didn’t finish off one.

“We had bets all the time for 10 euros, if you score more than 10 times I pay you, if you don’t you pay me, my pocket was full of money.

“It’s all about staying calm, when you see the potential, stay calm. It’s so difficult in the world we are living in.

“I think we all agree that the potential [of Nunez] is so obvious.

“It’s not only with Lewy I had this but he is an obvious comparison, I understand that. It’s just about staying calm, and I am super calm, and the team is as well by the way.”

While Klopp conceded Nunez should have done better with one chance in particular against Villa, he also feels the media scrutiny has been over the top.

“Is everything right? No,” he said. “I think it’s clear with the big chance in the second half, if he can run a little bit at an angle then he has a free choice.

“But it’s all coming. So you do it like this, the next time you do it like that.

“It’s so difficult in the world we are living in. I don’t want to make it personal now but because of you [the media] asking and making a big fuss of everything, then of course the supporters and social media [get carried away].

“All these kind of things, the more you can shut off that, the better it is.”

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SoccerNews

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