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 sista delen får vi ta del av hur Nunez tid i Benfica varit. – António Pita(@pita_80), @benficafm Darwin Nunez status 1. When did Nunez arrive at Benfica and What did you first think of him? To be honest, I didn’t know the player. I had no idea who he was, nor what his course had been until he arrived Benfica. My first impression was: ”25 Million? Wtf ! It’s not possible! . It’s too expensive for a player who comes from the Spanish 2nd division and who only scored 9 goals.” I tried to get to know the player and understand why my club had just invested so much money in an unknown player… Apart from being a young player and with an impressive physical ability, I didn’t find any factor that justified this investment…the last two seasons proved the opposite and that I was obviously wrong. 2. How would you describe him as a player today? Strengths/weaknesses. Nunez learned and evolved a lot in these 2 seasons. This season he was, by far, Benfica’s best player. Being a young player with room to progress was indeed an advantage. One of the many strengths he has is in fact the desire to learn, evolve and the professionalism with which he works. If we add this to his age, we have here 2 important ingredients for his evolution in these two seasons. Another factor is undoubtedly his physical ability. It’s impressive. He can be fast and powerful, with and without the ball. ( I miss him already). Another feature that I can highlight in Darwin Nunez is without a doubt his shot: Powerful and with a technique well above average. He is a striker with the ability to play in all positions at the front, as he has immense mobility and is capable of looking for other spaces on the pitch to unbalance opponents. But he’s a forward and it’s close to goal that makes the difference. Nunez ended the season with 35 goals and with the merit of having scored against all types of teams and competitions, so I think we can say that he has a goal on his feet… which is what is required of a top striker. Regarding weaknesses, we can say that Nunez is a player who, due to his youth and having come from a 2nd division team to a top club, like Benfica (and now, apparently Liverpool), needs to be ”supported” and be mentally on top. On the other hand, when things don’t happen, he ”falls” and tends to take a while to recover to normal levels. The good news is, in the last season, that didn’t happen and he was always at his best and growing during the season. He is a player who needs to work on his game with his head, with his height and ability to jump, he should be a better header. Nunez is not a very technical player and putting it on ”one on one” can reveal some difficulties. However, he is capable of unbalancing a defender with the ball, if he has some space to put his power and speed. 3. Liverpool play with three up front, is Nunez mostly a player for the position in the middle or Can he be used on any of the wings? As I said before, Nunez has the ability and experience to play in all positions on the attacking front. His a quick learner and that is, for sure, one of its greatest advantages. With a manager like Klopp, you can expect beautiful things. However, where he can make the most difference is when he plays down to the left and makes interior moves towards the goal. He’s not a winger and if that’s the idea, Liverpool will lose a goalscorer. He has the quality to play in the center of the box and conquer that space for him, but it always depends on who plays alongside him. 4. If he signs for Liverpool, do you think he will be a good signing for us? Yes, definitely. Even though it’s not obvious what position in the up front he might play in, Nunez has characteristics that no other forward in the current Liverpool squad has. I’m sure (unfortunately for Benfica) that Nunez will make the difference at Liverpool FC. 5. Finally, there are many talented players leaving the Portuguese League for bigger leagues(for example Liverpool signed Luis Diaz earlier this year), who do you think Will be the next big player to sign for One of the wealthier clubs? I hope that no more top players leave our league, although I think it’s unlikely. One of the qualities of Portuguese teams is to form and “discover” talents before teams from more ”moneyed” championships. It’s a matter of survival and the only way to stay competitive. In the last 10 years Benfica formed and lost (Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes, Renato Sanches, João Cancelo, João Felix, Ruben Dias, Lindelof and ”found” young players like Di Maria, Enzo Perez, Matic, Witsel, Gaitan (among others) ), many top players, but as frustrating as that can be, there’s not much we can do…for now. Benfica recently won the UEFA Youth League Cup and that reveals the quality we have in our youth teams. At Benfica, Porto, Sporting, Braga, etc.. there is a lot of talent to be explored, but I don’t know who will be the next player to leave… I just know that it will happen, very soon. Totaal reflektion: Övergången är med största sannolikhet bara timmar från att offentliggöras och att döma av det som går att läsa ovan är det en riktigt fin spelare vi får in.