Marcelo Bielsa guiding Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez
The Liverpool striker scored a brace and was key in Liverpool’s victory against Newcastle.
At a sold-out St James’ Park, against a Champions League rival like Newcastle and with a numerical disadvantage after Virgil van Dijk’s dismissal, Liverpool were losing 1-0 with ten minutes to go against the Magpies thanks to a goal by Anthony Gordon. But everything changed when Jurgen Klopp withdrew Alexis Mac Allister and brought on Darwin Núñez.
The Uruguayan silenced Newcastle to keep the Merseyside team unbeaten in the league this season. After a difficult start for the 24-year-old striker due to a lack of minutes in the face of fierce competition in attack, Darwin stepped up. Not only that, thanks to his two goals, the player from Artigas joined the select club of Uruguayan players who have scored ten or more goals in the Premier League together with Luis Suárez (69), Gustavo Poyet (54), Edinson Cavani (12) and Diego Forlan (10).
In the three league games played so far, the former Benfica striker has not started in any of them, with Klopp selecting Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz. After his display at Newcastle, Klopp himself acknowledged Darwin’s dissatisfaction with not playing as much as he would like “but you can’t have more than 11 players playing”.
Help from Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa is one of the men behind his emergence. In an interview with Sport 890, Darwin revealed that he held meetings via Zoom with the Uruguay head coach, who analysed aspects of the Liverpool striker’s game. “It was a very good talk with him. He showed me some of my games and corrected several things. He explained to me some things that he thinks are better to do. I hope we [Uruguay] do well because we want to give joy to the people of Uruguay”.
This type of chat in which Bielsa communicates with the players of the Uruguayan national team to give them advice is the latest experiment of ‘El Loco’. The coach from Rosario is thoroughly preparing Uruguay’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers which get underway on September 8 against Chile and on September 12 in Quito against Ecuador.
Replacing Liverpool legend Suárez
In the absence of both Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani, Darwin will lead the line for his country. The Liverpool striker confessed that he has sent a message to the national team’s team manager about taking the number 9 shirt that Suárez has worn in recent years. “I want the number ‘9′. I told Luis (Suárez) on the bus, because I sat next to him, that when he wasn’t there I was going to wear the 9 and I was going to represent it as best I could, as he did”.