Will Nunez be a good FPL asset?
Over on Fantasy Football Scout Marc has been taking a dive into new Liverpool signing Darwin Núñez. Will Nunez be a good addition to our FPL asset during the 2022/23 season?
Erling Haaland’s arrival at Manchester City has been followed by Liverpool’s capture of their own big-money forward.
It sees Darwin Núñez arrive from Benfica in a deal set to be worth an initial £64m, potentially rising to £85m with add-on fees.
The 22-year-old striker was linked to various Premier League teams but Jurgen Klopp’s side quickly wrapped up the transfer to avoid a bidding war with the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle United.
Darwin is a wonderful player; already really good but so much potential to get even better. That’s why it’s so exciting, to be honest. He has all the pieces we look for. Nunez can set a tempo, he brings energy, he can threaten space from central and wide areas. He is aggressive and dynamic with his movement.
He plays without fear, he’s powerful. I know he will excite our supporters.Jurgen Klopp
He comes with a big fee and high expectations but where does the Uruguay international fit in at Liverpool and what impact will he have in Fantasy Premier League (FPL)?
We’ll attempt to answer those questions below.
His explosive season for Benfica has continued a fast escalation. It didn’t take many Peñarol appearances until Almeria snapped him up for the Spanish Second Division. One fruitful year later and he was off to the Portuguese capital for around £20m, with Almeria now set to benefit further by receiving 20% of Benfica’s profit.
Five assists arrived in his first four matches, netting on the fifth attempt against Belenenses. Yet his first season was fairly unspectacular, with the first nine appearances after a hamstring injury all cameos off the bench.
The 2021/22 campaign was very different. A spectacular 26 goals from 28 league matches included a trio of hat-tricks and five braces. Knee surgery over the preceding summer meant Núñez missed the first two outings but he quickly made up for lost time.
He was likely already on Klopp’s radar before their sides met in the Champions League quarter-finals, such is the forward-thinking Liverpool transfer team that brought in fellow Liga Portugal star Luis Diaz.
However, he made sure he remained in Klopp’s thoughts after scoring in both legs against Liverpool. The first saw him race into the box to receive a cross from the right wing. Whereas the second came from a long ball that his teammate couldn’t control so Núñez stepped in to coolly finish.
Additional goals came against Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax to ensure his first Champions League experience brought an impressive six from ten matches.
Playing Style and Underlying Stats
He has a similar style to [Edinson] Cavani but it seems to me that Darwin is faster and more powerful. He has the power that [Luis] Suarez had to go for it all, to go to the clash and fight with the rival. He also has the part of Cavani, of being a much more athletic player, physical, intelligent. I think he is a combination of those two things.Former Peñarol manager Leonardo Ramos
At 6ft 2in tall, Núñez offers more of a physical presence than Liverpool’s other attackers. His five headed goals of last season are more than everyone in the Premier League, with Harry Kane, Diogo Jota and Danny Welbeck finishing on four.
A crude comparison of the underlying stats shows Nunez more than matching his new teammates for a number of the key metrics. Although we do have to slap a hefty ‘Primeira Liga’ tax on those figures. While the opposition calibre increases in the Premier League. So too does the quality of players around the forward and the level of service.
One thing that really stands out from last season is his goal conversion. 30.8% of the shots he took in the Portuguese top flight ended up…
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