Darwin Nunez: Where Is Football’s “Next Big Thing” Headed?

Darwin Nunez: Where Is Football’s “Next Big Thing” Headed?

Darwin Nunez’s stock has skyrocketed over the past six months. 34 goals for Benfica as well as goals against Liverpool in both legs have made people take notice of this Uruguayan tank. Plucked from Almeria in the Spanish Segunda division, it has just clicked for Nunez. Benfica definitely saw something in him and forked out €24m on him, and their gamble has paid off.

His playing style is somewhat like Lukaku at Inter Milan. Although he is a pretty tall player, he’s not a target man, rather, he likes running onto balls in behind. He has the pace and physicality to out-muscle most defenders and the calmness to finish the chances he gets. He is also tactically a fluid player who can play on the left, up top or even as a part of a front two.

Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda had this to say, “He’s a ‘modern football striker’ – like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe – strikers who don’t just focus on scoring goals. They focus on playing for the team and making the whole team play well. That’s why we’re talking about €100m.”

At 22, he offers longevity to any club that splashes the cash on him. Many of the top European clubs have taken notice of him. Seeing all the interest, Benfica has already slapped a €100m price tag on him.

So who’s frontline is going to be bolstered by the signing of Nunez?

The Biggest Rumour: Liverpool

Nunez’s addition could be what Liverpool needs to win the league title

Sadio Mane has announced his departure leaving a gaping hole in the Liverpool attack. Luis Diaz will probably take up that mantle, but to keep up with Man City, Liverpool will have to spend big, and by the looks of it, Nunez is their man.  Looking at the kind of player Nunez is, he’d be perfect for Liverpool.

He is versatile, can play on the wing as well as through the middle, and his aerial threat will be a new element to the Red’s attack.  He occupies areas on the field that Mane used to, so he’d fill that gap while offering something different. Any fears of players from the Portuguese league not being able to adapt to the league have been quelled by Diaz and Bruno Ferndandes before him.

Liverpool isn’t a club that throws around €100m willy nilly, so if they sign him, they will do all their scouting and due diligence.  Liverpool have had a pretty good track record in the recent past when it comes to signing forwards.

It is possible that Nunez is seen as a key cog in the next version of this Liverpool looks to phase out ageing club legends.

Wildcard option: Bayern Munich

A worthy heir to Lewandowski at Bayern?

While Manchester United are the other big club interested in Nunez, Bayern might be an interesting destination for the young forward. Lewandowski has gone on a public tirade against the club and surely burnt all bridges there. Losing one of the best strikers of the past decade would leave Bayern in a difficult spot, but how about signing the best young striker not named Haaland or Mbappe?

The Bundesliga is a perfect league for a player with the physical gifts that Nunez has. Constant turnovers and teams who rarely sit in a low block would have him chomping at the bits. Add to this the supporting cast of Muller, Sane, Gnabry, Koman and Kimmich that Nunez will have would give him ample opportunities to settle in and rip the Bundesliga apart.

Bayern aren’t usually ones to get into a bidding war, but they have to go out and make a statement signing to show everyone they’re still one of the big boys. It’s an absolutely blockbuster move if it does go through.


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