Ex-Premier League striker makes blunt Darwin Nunez prediction

Ex-Premier League striker Charlie Austin has had his say on Darwin Nunez replacing Sadio Mane at Liverpool.

Liverpool paid an initial £64m for the striker, with an extra £12.8m payable after a certain number of appearances and then another £8.5m payable in success-related add-ons – totalling just over £85m.

This makes Nunez the 4th-most expensive in the history of the Premier League behind only Jack Grealish, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba.

But can Nunez back up such a high price-tag?

The Uruguayan had a solid 2020/21 which saw him score 12 and assist 13 in 43 outings across all competitions. It is this past season, though, where he has really come into his own.

Nunez netted 26 and assisted four in 28 league games for Benfica whilst also finding the net on six occasions in the Champions League.

But stepping up to the Premier League for a club like Liverpool is a task Nunez has never had to deal with before.

The South American’s task is made even harder due to the fact he has essentially been brought in to replace Sadio Mane, who has now joined Bayern Munich.

Mane scored 23 and assisted five for Liverpool last term and was their most consistent player in the second half of the campaign.

Now, ex-QPR and Southampton star Charlie Austin, who has just signed for Brisbane Roar, has weighed in on Nunez replacing Mane: “It’s a big ask to replace him (Mane). Nunez has come into replace him and he’s got to hit the ground running straight away. Liverpool can’t afford to drop points or start slowly compared to Man City.

"They’ve just signed (Erling) Haaland who’s arguably the best centre-forward in the world at the moment, so it’s going to be interesting.”

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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