Jurgen Klopp compares Darwin Nunez to an early Robert Lewandowski

Jurgen Klopp tells £85m Darwin Nunez to ‘stay calm’ and claims there are ‘a lot of similarities’ with Robert Lewandowski – after the Pole initially struggled under him at Dortmund before becoming one of the world’s best

  • Jurgen Klopp has defended Darwin Nunez after a mixed start to life at Liverpool
  • Klopp compared Nunez to Robert Lewandowski’s first season at Dortmund
  • Lewandowski scored nine goals in his first season before starring at the club
  • Klopp claimed Nunez’s potential is ‘obvious’ and urged the forward to stay calm
  • Liverpool have been boosted by the £44million signing of Cody Gakpo

Jurgen Klopp has made the ‘obvious comparison’ between Darwin Nunez and Robert Lewandowski, with the Polish star having initially struggled after signing for Borussia Dortmund before becoming one of the most feared forwards in Europe.

Nunez, who signed from Benfica for £85m in the summer, has shown signs of quality during his spell, although he has also missed several big chances during his short Anfield career so far. 

Klopp claimed Nunez has ‘a lot of similarities’ to Lewandowski, who scored nine goals in his first season at Dortmund after being signed from Lech Poznan.

Jurgen Klopp has claimed Darwin Nunez has a lot of similarities to Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski initially struggled at Borussia Dortmund before becoming starring for the club

‘I think Lewy would tell the same story,’ Klopp said ahead of Liverpool’s home game with Leicester on Friday night. ‘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. It’s so difficult in a world we are living in.

‘Because of you (the media) asking and making a big fuss of everything, then the supporters, social media and all these kind of things the more you can shut off that, the better it is.’

Nunez spurned a series of chances in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day

Lewandowski’s first season under Klopp 

Club: Borussia Dortmund (2009-10)

Appearances (all comps): 43

Goals: 9

Assists: 4

Minutes played: 1,983

Minutes per goal: 220   

Nunez’s first season under Klopp (so far)

Club: Liverpool (2022-23)

Appearances (all comps): 20

Goals: 9

Assists: 4

Minutes played: 1.119

Minutes per goal: 124 

Nunez has scored nine goals since joining from Benfica in the summer, but has had a stop-start campaign due to injuries and suspension.

He failed to score for Uruguay at the World Cup and looked particularly rusty in front of goal during Liverpool’s Carabao Cup defeat against Manchester City last Thursday.

Nunez was named man of the match in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day, but spurned a hatful of chances during the match.

Klopp came to Nunez’s defence following the victory, claiming the Uruguayan had ‘an incredible game’, with the Liverpool boss insisting he is a an ‘exceptional talent’.

‘I think we all agree that the potential is so obvious,’ Klopp said. 

‘Is everything right? No. 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.

Klopp has claimed Nunez needs to remain calm despite the focus on his performances to date

‘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.’

Nunez will be expected to lead the line for Liverpool when they host Leicester in the Premier League tonight.

Liverpool’s attacking options have been further boosted by the £44million signing of Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo.

Klopp’s side will hope to close the five point gap to fourth placed Tottenham in a closely contested race for Champions League qualification.

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