Saturday, February 4, 2023

Liverpool reignite interest in Nunes

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The onus on replenishing the midfield ranks at Liverpool has never been more apparent, and the club might now turn to a former target to inject fresh life to save a fading season…

What’s the word?

Wolverhampton Wanderers completed the signing of Matheus Nunes in the summer in a club-record £42.2m deal that was considered a major coup for the club, following intense speculation that the 24-year-old could join Liverpool.

And now, according to The Telegraph, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and Sporting Director Julian Ward could be poised to dive back in for the Portuguese maestro, who could be available for €50m (£44m), although any move is unlikely to happen until next summer’s window.

Nunes has not quite hit the ground running since his arrival at Wolves from Sporting Lisbon, with the club languishing near the bottom of the Premier League table and in real danger of falling back into the EFL Championship.

Midfield saviour?

Nunes has been lacklustre since commencing his exploits in English football, having made 14 Premier League appearances from his central position and registering just the one assist, having yet to find the back of the net.

And his average league rating of 6.74 leaves plenty of room for improvement, as per Sofascore, with his lack of direct goal involvement hampering his progress, although his 1.1 shots per match and 0.9 key passes, knitted together by a slick 81% passing accuracy, certainly allude to a promising career at one of Europe’s elite outfits.

However, Liverpool are in dire need of a new face in the centre of the park to lift the club back to prominence, with a lack of grip, tenacity and vibrancy combining to wreak havoc on the Merseyside outfit’s ambitious aspirations.

Would Nunes start for Liverpool?

Nunes, despite his tepid start to life on English soil, boasts all the attributes required to flourish at one of the Premier League’s elite, and could indeed prosper in and amongst Liverpool’s deep pool of world-class talent.

As per FBref, the 11-cap star ranks within the top 4% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes received, and the top 16% for touches in the attacking penalty area, indicating a willingness to surge forwards and look to split the opposing defences apart with deft darting runs and provide from a creative standpoint.

Praised by his former Sporting teammate Goncalo Santos for his natural pace, power and elegance when gliding through the field before his departure last summer, Nunes possesses every morsel of talent required to forge an eminent career indeed.

Santos said: “It’s unbelievable when he has the ball at his feet. Nobody can catch him; it’s impossible because he’s too fast.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola once lauded Nunes as “one of the best players in the world”, and he could become just that at Liverpool, thriving and serving as the focal point from the centre, finally gifting the Kop it’s marquee midfield signing so desired over the past few years.

Numisteamone

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