EPL

Darwin Nunez a hybrid of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, says former coach

By Sports Desk June 10, 2022

Darwin Nunez can be a hybrid of fellow Uruguayan strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, according to a former coach of the 22-year-old.

Nunez has been heavily linked with a big-money move from Benfica to Liverpool or Manchester United ahead of next season, with a reported fee of up to €100million (£85m) being touted.

The young forward produced electric form for Benfica in 2021-22, scoring 34 goals in 41 games in all competitions, including six Champions League goals against Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Liverpool.

Leonardo Ramos coached Nunez during his time at Penarol in Uruguay and told Stats Perform of his belief that, while the player still has a lot to learn, he is showing similar traits to legendary La Celeste strikers Suarez and Cavani.

"Everyone compares him a lot to Cavani," Ramos said. "They have a similar style. It seems to me that Darwin is faster and more powerful than Cavani. Cavani, maybe now he is a more experienced player and knows the moments where to press, when to attack, when to go back, when to be able to play and associate with his team-mates.

"Today, Darwin seems to me to be much more explosive, but apart from that explosiveness, he obviously has already shown unbelievable a scoring ability. 

"It is the same scoring ability that we saw in Uruguay when he was in the bases of Penarol because he scored many goals there. And the truth is that if you ask me about a player who looks quite similar to him, I would say Cavani."

When asked if there were any similarities to former Liverpool and Barcelona star Suarez, Ramos said: "I think he has two parts, it's half-and-half.

"He has the power that Suarez had to go for everything, to go to the clash, to be a fighter with the rival. And he also has the part of Cavani, of being a much more athletic player, more physical, more intelligent, and I think it's a union of those two things that are important.

"Let's see, Darwin is still a very young boy, he has to learn a lot. It is not to discredit the Portuguese league, but [he will be judged] playing in Spain or Italy, which along with England, are the places where he will surely need much more of his characteristics and his strength to perform much better."

Reports suggest that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sees Nunez as an ideal replacement for Sadio Mane, who is being linked with a move to Bayern Munich, and Ramos can see why the Reds are interested, though does think it could be a bit early for the player to move to such a club.

"Darwin is a player who can help a lot in the recovery of the ball," he said. "With Uruguay, he does it and does it very well.

"Yes, he is a player who has to play near the area because there he is lethal, he has no regard for the opponent, he knows in advance where the ball is going to fall and where the goal is, [but] I don't know if it's time for him to go to Liverpool now. Not because of his conditions, but because [Liverpool] is a very big club.

"There have been players who have been very important in world football who have gone to play for Liverpool and they have failed.

"I think it would suit Darwin, and I have to say that this is just my opinion, it does not mean I am right, but I think that it would be better for him to go to a lower team to gain experience and explode at another time.

"Although the moments are now and Darwin's time is now, so if he goes to Liverpool, it seems to me that if Liverpool takes him it's because they really believe he can work in their team."

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