Virgil van Dijk has heaped praise on Darwin Nunez after his impressive start to the season.
Uruguayan forward Nunez moved to Liverpool for £85m last summer, becoming the club’s record signing in the process.
However, it was a difficult campaign for the Reds as a whole as they missed out on the Champions League for the first time in seven years, while Nunez also received criticism for his output, although he did still net 15 times in all competitions.
The 24-year-old has since begun the 2023-24 campaign in fine fashion, scoring three goals despite starting just twice, while he helped to turn around a 2-1 victory at Newcastle last month when he netted a late brace after coming off the bench.
He also launched Liverpool’s comeback on Thursday against Austrian side LASK in the Europa League when they came from 1-0 down to win 3-1, with Nunez equalising with a penalty.
Virgil van Dijk has heaped praise on Darwin Nunez after his impressive start to the season
Van Dijk insisted Nunez is starting to fulfil his potential at the club after his move last summer
And, following the victory in Austria, Van Dijk lauded Nunez and insisted he was starting to show the world what he was about.
‘Everyone has now seen the potential and the quality he has,’ the Dutchman said.
‘Darwin was very important for us against LASK and long may it continue. Up front, the competition is quite good.
‘They all have to push each other and it’s good to see. Everyone has a role to play whether you start or not.’
Before Nunez’s penalty in the second half, Van Dijk grabbed the ball and insinuated as if he was going to take the spot kick, which gave the Uruguayan time to compose himself.
And the defender revealed the psychological side of those pressure moments in games.
Nunez has netted three times this season in all competitions, despite starting just two games
The Reds remain unbeaten after a summer overhaul and are set to host West Ham on Sunday
He added: ‘You have to make sure you protect at least the penalty spot. It’s a bit of a mind game there – maybe they were going to try and get in your head.
‘It was always the plan that Darwin was going to take it, and I’m glad he scored.’
Jurgen Klopp’s side remain unbeaten this season and have 13 points from five Premier League games.
They return to action on Sunday when they host West Ham at 2PM.