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Leagues: EPL

Liverpool manager brushes off criticism of new signing Nunez


Singapore (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Thursday laughed off past comments about his unwillingness to spend heavily on a single player, defending the club’s big-money signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

Speaking in Singapore ahead of Friday’s pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace, the Anfield boss was reminded by reporters of a 2018 comment where he said he did not want to spend £100 million ($118 million) on a single player. 

Fans have poked fun at the German after his club agreed a deal with Benfica for Uruguayan striker Nunez that could see them pay up to £85 million ($100.4 million) with add-ons. 

Klopp, however, laughed off the question, saying the transfer market had changed since he made the comments. 

“When you want to sign a striker as exciting as Darwin is, it’s the market and you have to pay the price,” said Klopp.

“I’ve said so many things in my life which have caught me later and showed me how quickly life can change,” he added. 

Nunez was heavily criticised on social media after a rusty performance in his first game for Liverpool, after he missed an open goal in their 4-0 loss to Manchester United in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Klopp said the criticism was unfair and backed the Uruguayan to come good for the Reds.

“The only real important thing is how I judge the situation and I couldn’t be more calm or completely convinced about his potential,” the German added.

He also downplayed the heavy loss to arch-rivals United, insisting that his focus was not on results but on preparing his players for the start of the new season.

“Do I like losing 4-0 against Man United? Not at all but we cannot judge our pre-season on just doing well in games,” he said.

The German said the pre-season matches his team are playing were important, “but the more important games are coming up in two weeks and that’s when we have to be ready”. 

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