Liverpool motive for Darwin Nunez move emerges with Reds set to get ‘own Erling Haaland’

One of Liverpool‘s motives for making a club record move for Darwin Nunez have emerged after previous comments made by Virgil van Dijk resurfaced.

The Reds are edging closer to signing Nunez from Benfica for a total fee in the region of £80million. The Uruguayan has impressed for the Portuguese giants, with Liverpool beating the likes of Manchester United in the race to sign him.

Nunez predominantly plays as a central striker, meaning he is unlikely to be signed as a direct replacement for the wantaway Sadio Mane. The Senegal international is understood to be ready to leave Anfield, with Bayern Munich his most likely destination.

Though he did take on a more central role after the arrival of Luis Diaz in January, Mane has usually been played on the left wing by Jurgen Klopp. With Roberto Firmino also suffering injury setbacks, reinforcements in attack are needed this summer.

Those boosts will also be needed to keep up with title rivals Manchester City, who have added their own superstar signing. Pep Guardiola’s men will see Erling Haaland arrive at the Etihad Stadium this summer, though he is yet to be officially unveiled.

Haaland is widely viewed as one of the best strikers in the world and his arrival will only make Liverpool’s task of overthrowing the Premier League champions harder. The Reds were never truly in the race to sign Haaland, who was being chased by many of Europe’s top clubs.

Virgil van Dijk has previously compared Nunez to new Manchester City signing Erling Haaland

Virgil van Dijk has previously compared Nunez to new Manchester City signing Erling Haaland
UEFA/Getty Images)

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But the signing of Nunez may give them a player in a similar mould, which would certainly be a huge benefit. That is the view of Van Dijk in any case, who has previously compared the 22-year-old to the incoming City star.

“I’ve played against Sergio Aguero, who was obviously unbelievable. (Lionel) Messi, arguably the best player in the history of football, in my opinion. (Kylian) Mbappe is different, quick,” Van Dijk told FIVE in May.

“There’s a different type of striker that we’re facing now, doing very well, in the name of Haaland, also Darwin (Nunez). He’s a bit similar, very direct and quick, tall and strong. It’s quite difficult to play against those guys.”

Though he did admittedly play in a weaker league last term than the Norwegian, Nunez did outscore Haaland. The striker hit 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions for Benfica, with Haaland netting 29 goals for Dortmund.

Given Van Dijk’s analysis of their talents, it would appear that both City and Liverpool are getting a very similar type of striker. That desire to sign a player in Haaland’s ilk could be one of the driving motivations behind the Reds’ move for Nunez.

It will be fascinating to see how Klopp and Guardiola deploy their new stars, given their apparent similarities. Klopp will certainly be hoping to get the best out of Nunez as he looks to reclaim the title for Liverpool.

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