Wørse Than Nunez: Klopp Must Boldly Axe 3/10 Liverpool Star After Europa Thrashing

Some Liverpool fans may have entertained the idea of Jurgen Klopp departing following Atalanta’s stunning victory at Anfield, despite the Italian side’s modest Serie A position.

Liverpool’s Europa League advancement appears precarious after a 3-0 home defeat marred by individual mistakes, lack of discipline, and organisational chaøs, instilling a fresh wave of anxiety.

Liverpool dominated at Old Trafford on Sunday, leading by a goal at halftime and displaying remarkable control. However, a mistake by Jarell Quansah allowed Bruno Fernandes to score an impressive lob. Despite Mohamed Salah’s late equaliser following Kobbie Mainoo’s superb strike, Liverpool relinquished their top spot in the Premier League.

They were unable to mount a needed comeback against Atalanta. Caoimhin Kelleher and Ibrahima Konate will rue their costly errors, while the squad’s disjointed performance was the primary cause of the defeat. Darwin Nunez’s lackluster display in front of goal also warrants criticism.

Darwin Nunez’s Performance vs Atalanta

Klopp expressed frustration towards his club’s top striker, who, despite criticism in the past, has showcased his growing impact with 18 goals and 13 assists this season. Referred to as the “agent of chaøs” by BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty, Nunez’s unpredictability is both admired and criticised, his flair accompanied by occasional inconsistency.

In the match against Atalanta, the Uruguayan attempted three shots off-target, timidly striking on goal once more, failed with both of his dribbles, won just one of his eight contested duels, and managed only 25 touches before being substituted at the hour mark, according to Sofascore.

Kelleher, the goalkeeper, was actively involved, touching the ball 81 times, providing insight into Liverpool’s creative focus.

The disappointing performance as a team raises concerns as Liverpool approache the final stretch of the season. Candidly, they’ve been struggling lately and now face tough opponents in Arsenal and Manchester City in the battle for the Premier League title.

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However, had Nunez managed to showcase even a fraction of his scoring ability, Liverpool could have seen a vastly different story unfold—one more suited to the grand finale of Klopp’s remarkable reign.

However, he isn’t solely responsible; Liverpool’s tendency for sluggish starts has been evident throughout the season and much of Klopp’s tenure. Despite being one-nil down at halftime, Dominik Szoboszlai failed to inject the necessary energy and confidence into the team.

Dominik Szoboszlai Must Be Axed Now

Last summer, Szoboszlai made a high-profile move to Liverpool from RB Leipzig for £60 million, quickly impressing and earning the title of Klopp’s “dream signing” from correspondent Neil Jones. However, his performance has declined in recent months, reaching a low point in the match against Gian Piero Gasperini’s side.

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Despite being actively involved, Szoboszlai failed to make any significant impact, with no key passes, tackles, or successful duels. His introduction was meant to inject energy, but instead, he struggled, even losing the ball in the lead-up to Atalanta’s third goal. Ultimately, he left the field at full-time as one of the poorest performers, reflecting James Pearce’s assessment in The Athletic. The reporter said: “What a mess of a performance. The worst of the season by some distance. So much wrong. So many errors. 14-month unbeaten run at home is ended.”

Dominik Szoboszlai: Stats vs Atalanta
Minutes played45′
Accurate passes32/36 (89%)
Shots taken2
Key passes0
Possession lost10x
Dribbles completed0/2
Duels won0/4
Dribbled past1
Errors leading to goal1
Stats via Sofascore

In the provided table, it’s evident that the ex-Bundesliga standout struggled both defensively and offensively during his stint on the field, marking a dismal performance as a substitute on Thursday evening.

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His lackluster display was underscored by a harsh 3/10 rating from Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo, who didn’t mince words in his assessment: “Had one shot blocked early on but looked way off the pace and lost ball for third. Not his best night.”

Despite the error, Szoboszlai failed to make an impact when his unique skills were needed most, skills that have consistently proven to be game-changers during his tenure at Liverpool thus far.

Alexis Mac Allister is currently the standout player, likely the first choice on the team sheet due to his exceptional skills. While his position in the midfield is versatile, he shines brightest in an attacking role, which necessitates the inclusion of Wataru Endo, who has impressed since his unexpected £16m transfer from Stuttgart last August.

Despite his early-season brilliance, Szoboszlai’s recent performances have fallen short. Hindered by injuries and setbacks, his form has declined significantly. With Liverpool facing a critical juncture, they cannot afford any more slip-ups.

The return of Curtis Jones adds depth to the squad, while Harvey Elliott consistently showcases creativity and impact when given the opportunity. Additionally, the comeback of Stefan Bajcetic after a year could provide a significant boost to the team’s performance in the Premier League.

Szoboszlai, the most expensive signing last summer, is undeniably talented. However, his output has not matched his potential, despite impressive statistics from his time at Leipzig in the Bundesliga, where he contributed six goals, eight assists, and created 14 ‘big chances’ during the 2022/23 season.

Liverpool should consider dropping him now, especially after starting the last Premier League match against United. It wouldn’t be fitting for Klopp, given his immense impact since 2015, to have an inappropriate send-off for someone so vital to the team’s success. From here on, it’s up to the Hungary international to seize his chances coming off the bench and prove himself worthy of reclaiming a spot in the starting lineup.

In other Liverpool news, Jamie Carragher Tells Jurgen Klopp “the Only Consolation” to Liverpool’s Europa League Defeat to Atalanta

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