“Going to have to work harder” – Luis Garcia says 23-year-old Liverpool star has ‘struggled’ in pre-season 

Former Liverpool forward Luis Garcia believes new Reds signing Darwin Nunez has struggled during the club’s pre-season tour to Asia earlier this month.

The 23-year-old forward was signed from Portuguese side SL Benfica for an initial fee of around £64 million.

Nunez is yet to get up to speed in a Liverpool shirt and has struggled in their opening two pre-season games against Manchester United and Crystal Palace. The Uruguayan forward has been shaky in front of goal which has seen him get mocked on social media by rival fans.

Garcia does not have any concerns surrounding Nunez’s form. However, he believes the forward does have to work hard and improve to have a good 2022-23 season. Speaking to ESPN (via HITC), Garcia was quoted as saying the following:

“No, not at all (on concerns about Nunez). He’s going to have to work harder because Liverpool play in a very different way to the way he was playing at Benfica.”

The Spaniard also stated that Nunez has all the qualities to become a top striker in the coming future. However, the forward will need to learn to press further up the field to properly fit into Jurgen Klopp’s style of play at Anfield.

Garcia had to say the following regarding Nunez’s inability to press at the moment:

“Benfica was playing for him. He was ready to receive the ball in those spaces and make a quick transition. He’s quick and strong. He’s very clever. His awareness and footballing intelligence is fantastic.”

The Spaniard added:

“But, after all of that, he has to track back and he has to press. The two games I have seen him play against Manchester United and Crystal Palace, he struggled.”

Garcia concluded:

“He wants to show that he’s going to be ready to play. Press at that high pressure that Liverpool is doing with Jurgen Klopp, but after three or four runs, he felt tired. I think it’s because he’s tired (on why he’s struggling). He needs to become physically ready to play at the level and the intensity that Liverpool plays.”

Liverpool have signed Nunez as a replacement for Sadio Mane

Nunez could be seen as a replacement for Sadio Mane, who left Anfield to join Bayern Munich earlier this summer. The Uruguayan will therefore be expected to deliver the goods in the final third like Mane often did.

Klopp notably has a plethora of forwards to pick from for next season. Apart from Nunez, the Reds also have Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz to pick from.

Paul Merson predicts the top 4 of the Premier League next season! Click here

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