Peter Crouch believes the fortunes of Liverpool will be greatly boosted by Darwin Nunez finding his natural level this season.
The former Liverpool. Tottenham and England striker speaks from experience having had difficulties adjusting to life at Anfield in his first season after joining from Southampton.
Crouch took 18 games in a timespan of just over four months for him to score his first goal which came against wigan Athletic.
During that period, there was a lot of noise from the outside both in a journalistic sense and ridicule from opposition fans that the beanpole striker was just “one giant flop.”
But if there is one thing that Liverpool fans are known for it is never giving up on a player f they see a wholehearted commitment to the cause.
They saw something in Crouch and eventually the rewards were forthcoming, likewise with Nunez, despite the commentary that the Uruguayan was the ‘wrong fit” for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side, the supporters did not waiver in helping the forward display his potential on a more regular basis.
With the difficult first season behind him, Nunez has started to steadily repay that faith with some really encouraging displays early in this campaign, none mores than the match winning cameo against Newcastle, and then following that by leading the line superbly against Aston Villa where he was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet again.
And yesterday in the comeback 3-1 win against Wolves, he again made life exceedingly difficult for the defenders.
Crouch believes that Nunez who has scored 17 goals in 47 appearances as a Red will only benefit from what he went through last season and he is at the right club to blossom at (per the Mirror).
“It was similar (to my start) but he didn’t go 18 games, I know that. He was still scoring goals. There were the odd misses of chances and he felt quite raw at times but I saw a small comparison. My drought was much longer than his.
“There was always an element of “Is he right? Will he do it?” What killed him a bit was coming in the same window as Haaland, City and Liverpool are big rivals and it was, “who was better?” Haaland got off to an incredible start and Nunez was falling foul of that comparison."
Crouch is still indebted to the fans for the support he got during his tough start and says that Nunez would have felt so much better having them onside despite not finding the back of the net as much as he would have wanted.
“When he was getting a little bit of criticism it was from outside Liverpool and people around the club. When you are going through a tough time and it looks like you’re giving everything and helping to improve the team but might not be scoring there’s no better place in the world.
“If I was signing anywhere other than Liverpool after they had just won the Champions League and they could have their pick of strikers and the striker doesn’t score for that amount of time - I don’t think there is any other club in the world that would stick with you in the manner they did with me. And that’s why Nunez is in such a good place to play his football.”
A new season brings fresh hope and Nunez is bounding with confidence and has won the praises of no less than Cristiano Ronaldo who described him as ”something special, I think. He’s quick, strong, tall, and possesses a different skill set than the rest (including Haaland, Benzema and Kane).
Crouch says the sky is the limit for the 24 year-old.
“This year that’s all gone. It’s a new season, he’s scoring goals and people will see the real Darwin Nunez this season.
If you win games like against Newcastle on your own, the finishes were top class, it’s confidence. He looks like a confidence player.
“Given the opportunity to settle is almost like a new signing. The same with Luis Diaz, who was missing last year. Again it’s a £100m player. There’s a real feel-good factor around the club and I hope that continues.”