Ex-Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has revealed that the club asked him to speak to Darwin Nuñez during the striker’s rough patch last season.
Wearing the number 9 shirt this summer, after Roberto Firmino’s exit, Nuñez has started the 2023/24 season in fine form, scoring seven and assisting five in 17 outings so far.
The Uruguayan has established himself as Jurgen Klopp’s preferred centre forward, forming an exciting partnership with Mohamed Salah.
The former Benfica star has also come up clutch in key moments for the Reds, notably scoring dramatic winners against Newcastle and Bournemouth.
Though adored by the Liverpool fans, Nuñez’s start to life at Anfield wasn’t so easy, with the striker struggling for consistency in his first year – an issue Klopp has since partly put down to a communication barrier.
Amid those first season adaptation problems, Liverpool chiefs even asked former striker Suarez to speak to his countryman.
The now Gremio forward, who scored 82 times in 133 games for the Reds between 2011 and 2014, told AUF TV (via ESPN Argentina):
“He has potential, technical ability and physical power that he is showing.
“As a teammate, I am not surprised because I knew, even when he had a bad time in Liverpool last year I spoke to him, in Liverpool they told me to talk to him, I advised him and told him what English football was.
“He, with the heart he has, opened up and told me what It had happened to him at that moment, we talked about it.”
Suarez, who at 36 has returned to national team duty alongside Nuñez, also revealed what he told the Liverpool forward about taking over the coveted number nine shirt for Uruguay.
“Also about the number nine shirt in the national team, I told him that when I leave I want him to grab it,” Suarez said. “That’s why, if you listen to Darwin’s statements, he says it with total sincerity.
“As a teammate I am happy for him; I spoke about it internally, and before the game with Brazil.
“These are things that we are happy about as teammates, we are different, we are from different generations, and I am happy for the moment that he is experiencing in his club and in the national team.”