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Liverpool: Darwin Nunez underperformed at the World Cup

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will have been watching the World Cup in the hope that none of his players suffer any injuries which could jeopardise the second half of the season.

Of the Reds’ squad, only Virgil van Dijk has played in every minute of the tournament so far, impressing as the Netherlands topped their group and qualified for the quarter-finals with thanks to a 3-1 victory over the USA on Saturday.

One of the bigger disappointments, however, have been the performances of Darwin Nunez, as Uruguay crashed out at the group stages for the first time since 2002, despite beating Ghana 2-0 in their final match.

Heading into the tournament, Nunez was arguably one to watch, especially having sealed a record £85m move to the Anfield side in the summer, yet he massively underperformed in Qatar.

He played in all three matches, yet averaged a Sofascore rating of just 6.37/10 and failed to contribute anything like he has done for Liverpool this season, averaging just 0.7 shots on target per game, missing two big chances and making only 0.3 key passes across the three matches.

The 23-year-old was mainly deployed on the left of a front three to make way for Luis Suarez, but he struggled throughout. He lost possession 41 times in just three matches, won just 35% of his total duels, and failed to succeed with any of his dribble attempts.

The £140k-per-week ace was even dubbed “so bad” by popular Twitch Partner, FG, and this experience will only make him better for future tournaments.

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Klopp, although likely disappointed at Nunez’s performances in Qatar, will at least be happy with the fact he won’t have exerted himself too much and be fit and firing ahead of the second half of the league season resuming on Boxing Day.

With just six Premier League victories all season, Klopp’s men know they will have to improve after Christmas to stand any realistic chance of challenging Arsenal for the league title. Having everyone returning from the World Cup injury-free and raring to go will be a big bonus for the German.