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3 strikers Liverpool could be looking to replace Darwin Nunez

A big summer of change is coming for Liverpool, as Jurgen Klopp's eight-and-a-half-year tenure comes to an end.

The German is bidding farewell to Merseyside to escape the pressure of senior management, and is expected to be replaced by Feyenoord boss Arne Slot, who has already been agreed.

Nothing has been made official at the time of writing, but it has been confirmed that Slot will be following in the footsteps of fellow Dutchman Erik ten Hag, who is swimming with the sharks at Manchester United after an up and down two seasons. spell.

While there is near certainty with the management, the same cannot be said for the key staff at Liverpool.

Speculation is rife over the long-term futures of Virgil van Dijk and Saudi Pro League target Mohamed Salah, both of whom are out of contract at Anfield next year, but another name that has entered transfer headlines of late is Darwin Nunez.

A club record signing for £85m (total package, including bonuses) from Benfica in June 2022, Nunez was expected to achieve big things on Merseyside. He scored 34 goals in his final season in Portugal and looked like he had all the qualities to make a run in the Premier League.

Darwin Nunez

Nunez's end product often lets him down / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

There have been flashes of brilliance from Nunez in the two years that have followed as well as great use of his speed, athleticism and unpredictability. But he often fails to deliver at the big moments, missing clear chances in front of goal time and time again – the kind of chances you have to take if you want to win Premier League titles and trophies on the continent.

Nunez's varied performance level means his place as a starter isn't always assured, and his chances may have been limited had Diogo Jota not continued to be plagued by injuries.

Barcelona have been tipped for a shocking exit, as they prepare for life after Robert Lewandowski, and the 24-year-old's decision to remove all Liverpool links from his Instagram account has added more fuel to the rumours' fire.

The question is, if Nunez were to charge out of the Anfield door, who in the world could replace him?

Viktor GyokeresViktor Gyokeres

Gyokeres scored a thrilling goal for Sporting/Carlos Rodrigues/GettyImages

Liverpool's greatest strength in recent years has been the number of goals conceded from wide forward areas. Mohamed Salah was the best talisman, scoring a ridiculous amount on the right flank, and he was duly supported by Sadio Mane for a good time.

But while Salah continues to play at a blistering pace, Mane's goals have never been replaced since he left the club for a new challenge. Jota, Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo have done their best to fill the gap, but their contributions are very similar to what Roberto Firmino has been doing in the center forward role.

That's why signing a top striker like Gyokeres would actually be the best thing Liverpool could do, even if it would cost an arm and a leg to do it. The Swede has had an incredible season with Sporting CP, carrying the same threats as Nunez, and is very integrated with the ball at his feet, both in terms of taking chances and stopping others.

More importantly, he's a straight number nine, which could provide more clarity on the roles of Jota and Gakpo, who seem to link up wherever they're needed and sometimes come through when Nunez is trapped on the left.

Alexander IsaacAlexander Isaac

Isak was on fire in Newcastle/Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

With centre-forwards being a decided theme, it is clear that Liverpool should consider signing one who is 100% proven in the Premier League. Enter, Alexander Isak from Newcastle.

The Swede has had injury problems, admittedly, but his record at St James' Park is exceptional. Not only Isak's numbers are good, his link-up game is good and he can play alone up front or alongside a strike partner, if the situation calls for it.

Balance is vital to the side, as is work-rate, and there are few better than Isak when Liverpool need to switch tactics or simply steal the ball from the back of the net.

Santiago GimenezSantiago Gimenez

Gimenez has been outstanding under the management of Slot / ANP/GettyImages

Gyokeres and Isak will both come at a premium price, no doubt about that. So this is where Feyenoord striker and Arne Slot-pupil Santiago Gimenez can come into the equation.

Having just turned 23, the Argentine-born Mexican is the youngest of the three here and has similar characteristics to Nunez. An ardent presser with nothing left, Gimenez will willingly get into channels and lead the attack – where he often makes the kind of decisions that Nunez gets wrong so often.

Gimenez's finishing has also improved immeasurably over the past few years, suggesting that he works very well with Slot and his coaching staff in the training camp. The safe option? It is possible. A good enough option to allow the money to be spent elsewhere? Definitely.


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