Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp issues Darwin Nunez warning ahead of Man City showdown

 

Darwin Nunez of Liverpool is embraced by Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, after being substituted during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between AC Sparta Praha and Liverpool FC at Letna Stadium on March 07, 2024 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool's rivals that in-form forward Darwin Nunez can get even better. The Uruguayan, who starred in Thursday's Europa League win over Sparta Prague, will be one of the Reds' key attacking assets when they host Manchester City in a high-stakes Premier League battle on Sunday.

Nunez had to deal with being taken off penalty duties early on in the Czech capital, as Alexis Mac Allister won and took the spot-kick which opened the scoring for Liverpool in a resounding 5-1 win.

He brushed that off with two superb goals of his own, firstly from long range before a powerful strike on the half-volley to make it five in his last four games. Luis Diaz and Dominik Szoboszlai also got in on the act as Liverpool found their rhythm just in time for City's visit to Anfield, and put themselves in a commanding position ahead of next week's last-16 second leg.

Nunez is now up to 16 goals in all competitions and showing a marked improvement in his second campaign on Merseyside. Ominously for City and Arsenal, Klopp feels there is even more to come from the 24-year-old.

"He had an absolutely more than OK first season but he had to adapt," Klopp explained in Prague. "That’s done now, he's settled in the middle of this team.

"He loves to play for this team together with these boys and has quality coming out of his ears, to be honest. It’s like strikers are, they score and then they don’t score. Is he at his absolute peak in general? Not now for us.

Nunez is nailed-on to feature against City at the weekend in a match which could have a concrete impact on the Premier League title race. Liverpool go into the match at the top of the table, one point ahead of Pep Guardiola's side and two points ahead of Arsenal.

But the Reds boss insists substituting him was just a precaution, saying: "We don’t know. Ibou said to me in the moment, ‘If I do another sprint then it could be bad’. So he said it should be fine, but we don’t know."

Joe Gomez was also substituted but Klopp claims that was merely for rotation, and to give Conor Bradley first-team minutes.

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