Is it worth Liverpool breaking their transfer record for Darwin Núñez?
Liverpool fans have been sent into a state of frenzy in the last couple of days as it is has been confirmed the Anfield owners, John Henry and Fenway Sports Group (FSG), have loosened their purse strings and splashed a hefty amount of cash on young Uruguayan Darwin Núñez.
In fact, FSG have smashed the club’s record transfer fee in a bid to bring the 22-year-old Benfica forward to Merseyside – going in with a bid of £85 million upfront and £15m in add-ons, which was always going be enough to secure the services of the young player.
It’s not often the American firm spend big in a window, with a transfer model that means sales are needed for the funds to bring in new players, but when they do get the cheque book out, they very rarely get it wrong – see the signings of Virgil van Dijk for £76m from Southampton and Alisson, who cost £56m when he arrived from Roma in 2018.
But while the excitement of Núñez swapping the red strip of Benfica for the same colour at Liverpool will outweigh any lingering doubts (as the player has largely impressed for the Portuguese outfit – especially in the 2021-22 Champions League), there is always a risk of spending such a large sum of money on any player, let alone one who is still only 22 years of age and is yet to prove himself outside of the Primeira Liga.
Of course, Benfica do have a knack for developing some of the best young players in Europe, and plenty before Núñez have made the transition to one of Europe’s top five leagues without needing much of a bedding in period or disappointing their new fanbases with dire performances – namely Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Rúben Dias, who have collectively made Manchester City more favourable in the sports betting.
Those four players have helped guide Pep Guardiola’s side – Liverpool’s biggest rivals at the minute for that matter – to multiple pieces of silverware over the last couple of years, so who can blame the Reds for going down the same route and trying to lure away Benfica’s best player?
The fact West Ham United and Newcastle United failed in a bid to sign Núñez in January is beside the point, as any attempts to land his signature by clubs of their respective stature were nothing more than lucrative. This is a striker wanted by many of the biggest clubs on the Continent, and it would be a huge signing should they pull it off – especially with the departure of Sadio Mané this summer, who looks set to jet off to Bayern Munich to replace the outgoing Robert Lewandowski. And Núñez’s goalscoring prowess speaks for itself, as the Uruguayan scored 34 goals in all competitions for Benfica last season.
The player’s 26 goals in 28 Premeira Liga appearances were enough to see him finish six strikes clear of Porto’s Mehdi Taremi, while he also scored an impressive six times in ten Champions League appearances as Benfica reached the quarter-finals of the competition – including goals against Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool at Anfield.
He certainly appears to be worth the money.
The editorial unit