“A Long Way to Go” – 24-year-old Star Told He Needs “Final 20 Per Cent” to Join Liverpool Greats

A former Reds striker has expressed confidence in Darwin Nunez but also offered insights into what it takes to thrive at Anfield.

Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has outlined the potential necessity for his former team to recruit a new striker to provide support for Darwin Nunez.

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Nunez, who is approaching the conclusion of his second full season at Anfield since his significant transfer from Benfica in 2022, has netted 18 goals in 51 appearances for Liverpool this season. However, he has gone without scoring in his last seven matches across all competitions.

Following Liverpool’s exit from the Europa League and a setback in their pursuit of the Premier League title with a defeat in the Merseyside derby, criticism has surfaced regarding Nunez’s recent goal drought. Consequently, there has been speculation surrounding the striker’s future at the club.

Babel is confident in Nunez’s potential to join the ranks of Anfield’s legendary strikers. Nonetheless, the former Liverpool star suggests that his old club should consider acquiring a new goalscorer in the upcoming transfer window.

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“I do think Liverpool will need to strengthen up-front, regardless of whether or not Mo Salah stays at the club,” Babel exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone.

“Every game they create so many chances, but they also miss a lot of them. I’d like to see someone a little more clinical in those situations, in that number nine position.

“Darwin Nunez has improved a lot, when you look at the player who arrived two years ago, versus the player Liverpool have today. He’s understood that there are different rules in England to Portugal.

“But he still has a long way to go, in my opinion, especially when you compare him to some of the strikers Liverpool have had over the years… you know, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres, Daniel Sturridge, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler… it’s not an easy job.

“Nunez does have the potential, but I feel like that final 20 per cent still needs to come out of him, before he’s close to being in the same category as those guys.

“There are many ways you can approach Nunez’s situation; in one breath you might say, ‘OK, he’s had a lot of chances to prove himself’, but at the same time, realistically, not all players are world-class from a young age. If I remember right, was Didier Drogba not 26 when he signed for Chelsea?

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“So, with that in mind, it’s worth remembering that some players just need a longer time before they eventually reach their prime, and maybe Nunez’s prime is at 27 or 28… whether he gets the time at Liverpool is another question.

“But I still believe that I’ve seen enough from him to know he has the power, he has the pace, he has the work ethic.”

Babel concluded: “I’d like an established striker to come in and take some of that pressure off Darwin Nunez; someone who already understands what it means to play for a top team like Liverpool.”

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