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Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez has compared his early struggles at Anfield to those of club legend and Uruguay teammate Luis Suarez.
Nunez joined Liverpool from Portugal side Benfica for a club-record £85m last summer, but has somewhat failed to hit the heights expected of him in what has been a miserable season overall for Jurgen Klopp and his players.
The Uruguayan is on double figures for the season in all competitions, scoring 10 goals from his 25 matches. But just five of those goals have come in the Premier League, with Liverpool currently sitting in ninth place in the table.
Liverpool forward compares struggles to Reds legend
Nunez has been absent from the Liverpool squad on occasion this season, both through injury and suspension, having picked up a red card shortly after moving to England.
A better success rate for goals has come in Europe, with the 23-year-old scoring three goals from his six Champions League group stage games. He also netted once in the FA Cup and once in the Community Shield. The attacker has, however, come under fire for his lacklustre displays, with Liverpool supporters yet to see the £85m man that they saw at Benfica.
Nunez has now admitted that his finishing can improve, but likened his issues to compatriot Suarez, who left Liverpool a club legend in 2014 with 82 goals from his 133 appearances. Suarez did, however, net just 15 times in his first 44 matches for the Reds, but followed that up with 54 goals in his next 66 games.
“Obviously, I still have many things to work on, for example my finishing,” said Nunez, as reported by LiveScore. “But I think the same thing is happening to me as happened to Suarez. In his second year, he tore it up.
“Something similar happened to me already at Benfica. The first year went very badly for me and in the second, I exploded. Here, I think the same thing is happening. I hope next season will be like that. I’ll put my best forward and hopefully I’ll get a bit of luck.”
Nunez speaks regularly to Liverpool hero Suarez
Nunez added that he regularly talks to his idol Suarez, with the legendary figure passing down wise words to the young forward. The duo lined out together for Uruguay in the 2022 World Cup in December, but struggled to help the South American nation make any real impact in the tournament as they failed to make it past the group stages.
But Suarez is still scoring goals at club level, recently bagging a debut hat-trick for new club Gremio last month. Such goalscoring has inspired Nunez over the years, with the current Liverpool man wanting to emulate the ex-Liverpool striker as much as possible.
“Of course, it’s always helpful to speak with Suarez,” added Nunez. “For me, he is an idol. He is a great example. In the national team, I now have a much better relationship with him. We are always talking and he is always giving me advice. I always try to keep in touch with him.
“I ask him a lot of things because he was at this club and he has a lot more experience than me. He is an important player to give me advice and explain things to me.”