Benficas Darwin Nunez är högaktuell för en övergång till Liverpool och i en serie av inlägg kommer vi att titta på hur hans karriär sett ut fram till idag. I den tredje delen går vi igenom den första tiden i Europa, då Nunez höll till i spanska Almeria.

Darwin Nunez status
– Juan Antonio Manzano(@JAManzanoOCR), journalist som följt UD Almeria i nästan 30 år.

1. What kind of player was Nunez when he came to Almeria?
He was a powerful striker from the get-go. He arrived near the end of the summer transfer window and although he needed some time to adapt. When he did, he was the team leader in attack. He had a small injury in his first month in Almeria and was not a starter until October. From the first moment it was seen that he was a powerful player and fast in attack. At the age of 20, he had some tactical and defensive difficulties that he improved over time. 

2. How would you describe the way Almeria played when he was at the club and in What role did they use him?
UD Almeria of the 19/20 season had changed its status in Spanish football. That summer the club had been sold to Turki AlSheikh and this gave it extraordinary financial muscle. The coach was the Portuguese Jose Gomes and the team wanted to dominate the game, deep and effective. But it had a problem. Defensively, they gave up too many chances and never found the right solidity. In this context, Darwin became the starting player in October and was the main protagonist in the attack. His greatest quality was his speed taking advantage of the spaces behind the central defenders.

3. How was his time at Almeria? What kind of player was he when he left?
Darwin Nuñez was a humble young man who did not like to feel like a star. His goal was to work hard so he could help his family in Artigas, a small town in the north of Uruguay. When Darwin signed for Peñarol, his older brother played in the club’s quarry and faced with the need to help the family, ”Junior” had to leave football to become a police officer. Darwin’s main concern was to buy a house for his parents and this was achieved after his signing for Almeria. The Uruguayan striker has a strong bond with the Spanish city because his wife is from Almeria and last January their first child was born here. When he left UD Almeria he was a player who had grown a lot in just 10 months, with enormous physical power and extraordinary scoring ability.

4. Are you surprised by his development and that Liverpool are willing to break their transfer record to get him?
I am not at all surprised by the evolution of Darwin because what he needed was to make the leap to a higher category and also evolve thanks to European competitions. All the virtues that he has been showing at Benfica could previously be seen in Almeria, but multiplied by 2. It is therefore not surprising that the big European clubs have set their sights on him. In soccer, the most valued thing is the goal and a soccer player like Darwin Nuñez is destined to break records.

5. Based on What you have seen from him, How do you think he will do in the Premier League?
As I have mentioned before, he is a powerful, fast and effective player, therefore English football could be his natural place. In football, he has everything to succeed in a European champion club, now it only remains to know how he will manage the pressure and the obligation to win twice a week. With Klopp, his qualities and his will, success is assured.