Former Premier League striker Kevin Campbell expects Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez to be left out of the starting line-up for the Reds’ opening day clash against Fulham next Saturday.
The facts: Instant hit
The 23-year-old made his first competitive appearance for the Reds after paying £85m in the Community Shield’s 3-1 triumph over Manchester City at the weekend.
The Uruguay international came off the bench in the second half to round off the goal just before the end at the King Power Stadium after also scoring a penalty for Jurgen Klopp’s side and he was not involved in the provisional squad that was with 0-3 lost to Strasbourg on Sunday night.
Despite that remarkable debut, one pundit has hinted that Nunez may have to settle for brief observation for now as the Premier League season begins…
The Latest: Campbell claims Nunez
Speaking to Football Insider, former Everton striker and regular talkSPORT contributor Campbell was asked if the 11-cap Uruguayan would remain among Liverpool’s substitutes for the trip to Fulham.
He replied: “You would think so. I expected Nunez to be in the starting XI after scoring four goals last week. At the end of the day, Nunez needs to be the main striker for Liverpool this season.
“But the Charity Shield is usually the test before the start of the season. You get your first eleven out and then mix in some of the other players in the second half. I expected both teams to be strong.
“Although people tend to say it’s not a trophy, let me tell you if you win it it’s on your honor roll. It’s a trophy. There’s always a nice curtain up. The added bonus is beating your rivals at the start.”
The verdict: Firmino again against Fulham?
In place of Nunez, Roberto Firmino led the line on Saturday and was flanked by Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, with the Brazilian being replaced just before the hour at Leicester.
Although the Uruguayan made the obvious impression from the bench, it remains entirely possible that Firmino will get the nod again at Craven Cottage as Klopp continues to give his new summer signing time to settle in England.
The 30-year-old has been a staple of Klopp’s plans throughout the German’s tenure at Anfield, as he allows the manager to perfect his preferred 4-3-3 formation while acting as a false nine, something that Nunez can’t offer at the moment as well.
As the season progresses, however, it seems almost inevitable that the powerful Uruguayan – once tipped as a ‘sensational’ Fox Sports reporter James Dodd talent – will occupy a prominent position as an integral part of the Reds’ starting XI, particularly given his record transfer fee and impressive pre-season form.
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