As Sadio Mane’s future swirls, Liverpool are already lining up a replacement to keep their machine rolling. The Reds have proven to be one of the best teams in the world at replacing outgoing talent time and time again and they’re in the process of doing it again. According to The Athletic, the Reds have agreed to personal terms with Darwin Nunez.
While this doesn’t mean that a transfer is complete for the Benfica star, it certainly smooths the path and gives Liverpool a leg up on Manchester United and other teams. All that will be needed now is to agree to terms with Benfica for the 22-year-old striker. Benfica are reportedly looking for more than $100 million, which is steep, but when Nunez scored 26 goals in League play, it’s easy to see why they want such a hefty fee.
Nunez has a different profile than Liverpool’s strikers recently in the sense that he’s actually a striker. As Roberto Firmino’s minutes have waned as Liverpool have begun the process of phasing him out, he’s been replaced leading the front line by Diogo Jota and Mane, two players who are equally, if not more, comfortable making things happen on the wing. Nunez is a pure finisher who pops up all over the box and could maximize Liverpool’s creativity and spacing.
The biggest area that Nunez would need to improve at Liverpool is his passing accuracy. While it would be a different system in England, Nunez only completed 56 percent of his passes with Benfica. In a side that is reliant on ball retention and slick counter plays, that won’t fly under Jurgen Klopp.
It would be a transition to the Premier League but he can look over his shoulder to Luis Diaz for how seamlessly that transition can be due to Liverpool’s recruitment team. Adding Nunez would ensure that the Reds can compete for the title even without Mane but all that stands in their way now is an agreement with Benfica.