Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he is not concerned about chances missed by Darwin Nunez in recent games, drawing comparisons with Robert Lewandowski’s early career at Borussia Dortmund.
Summer signing Nunez, 23, has scored nine goals this season but has also squandered several big opportunities. Klopp says Lewandowski had similar mixed form when he signed him for Dortmund from Lech Poznan in 2010.
“There are a lot of similarities to be honest,” he said. “I think 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 will pay you 10; if you don’t, you have to pay me’. My pocket was full of money! “It’s all about staying calm. When you see the potential, stay calm.”
Nunez demonstrated why Liverpool had paid an initial £64m to sign the striker from Benfica in the summer when he hit seven goals in 10 games before the World Cup break.
However, following the resumption of domestic football, Nunez has missed a number of big chances in the 3-2 loss at Manchester City in the League Cup on 22 December and again in the Boxing Day win (1-3) at Aston Villa.
However, Klopp has no doubt Nunez will find his scoring touch again. “I think we all agree that the potential is so obvious,” he added. “I think it’s clear when you see the second chance, the big chance in the second half [against Villa], he can run a little bit on an angle and then he has a free choice, all these kind of things.
“But it is all coming. You do it like this, the next time you do it like that. I had this situation with Lewy but it is not only Lewy.
He is the obvious comparison, I understand. “It’s just about staying calm and I am super calm. The team is calm as well, the team is completely convinced and that’s really cool.”