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Jurgen Klopp stunned by early criticism of ‘proper striker’ Darwin Nunez, and Man City’s Haaland

‘It’s crazy how quick we judge people… wow!’: Jurgen Klopp left in disbelief over early criticism of Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland as he insists Liverpool’s £85m recruit proved he is a ‘proper striker’ in draw with Fulham

  • Jurgen Klopp said Darwin Nunez proved himself a ‘proper striker’ last weekend
  • The German manager cannot believe early criticism players received this year 
  • Manchester City’s Erling Haaland was panned before scoring twice in the league
  • Klopp said Liverpool are unlikely to turn to transfers to solve midfield problems 

Jurgen Klopp has hailed his new Uruguayan star Darwin Nunez as a ‘proper striker’ ahead of his Anfield debut on Monday night.

Nunez joined Liverpool in the summer from Benfica, and flicked home one goal and set up another to help the Reds get a point at Fulham in their opening game last weekend.

It proved that the 23-year-old was the right fit for Premier League football – after coming under criticism following Liverpool’s 4-0 pre-season loss to Manchester United.

‘Five weeks ago, when we started pre-season and he had his first game and it didn’t look great from the outside world,’ Klopp told Sky Sports

Jurgen Klopp is stunned by how quickly critics harshly judge new talent to the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp is stunned by how quickly critics harshly judge new talent to the Premier League

‘Not for us, but it’s crazy how quick we judge people… wow!

‘Imagine if somebody did that to us and said, ‘First day of work, it didn’t work out. Go home, we never want to see you again! And you don’t get a second chance by the way’ – we would have all been long gone! No chance.

‘Everybody can now see, ‘Ah he’s a proper striker’ – so good for us and good for him. He’s a handful and is a different type to what we had. He’s very lively and very energetic.

‘Physically he’s really strong and technically he’s really good, that obviously goes together with being more settled and confident and more secure in yourself in a new environment.

‘You can’t say, ‘Come on, you have to give me 100 per cent immediately’ – you have to develop it and that’s what we’re doing at the moment and in a good way.’

Klopp said Darwin Nunez proved himself to be a 'proper striker' in Liverpool's draw at Fulham

Klopp said Darwin Nunez proved himself to be a ‘proper striker’ in Liverpool’s draw at Fulham

Erling Haaland was panned in pre-season, but has made a positive impact in his league games

Erling Haaland was panned in pre-season, but has made a positive impact in his league games

The 55-year-old German also hit out at critics who are too quick to judge new strikers in the Premier League – especially when they are shown up a short while later.

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland was earmarked for failure after their loss in the Community Shield – to Klopp’s Liverpool – but the Norwegian proved doubters wrong with two goals in his first league game for the Citizens.

‘It’s funny as well, we won against Manchester City the week before the season and everybody was asking, ‘will Haaland score this and that?’,’ Klopp added. 

‘A week is like 10 years in football!’

The manager also revealed the club are not likely to get a new midfield signing despite losing Thiago Alcantara to a hamstring injury in the Fulham draw. A number of conversations had taken place about potential recruits, without success.

‘I’m happy with the strength, size and quality of my squad but we have injuries,’ Klopp said. ‘There are plenty of solutions for it. One of them is the transfer market, but that only makes sense if you can bring in the right player.

‘All the other solutions are inside the squad. We have too many injuries, that’s clear.’

However, there may be a breakthrough on this front, with Naby Keita returning for Crystal Palace’s visit to Anfield on Monday, and Kostas Tsimikas back in training.

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