Darwin Nunez's goalscoring capabilities have long been the topic of debate. They shouldn't be anymore.
The Uruguayan has got his 2024 off to an absolute stormer, adding another goal to his tally for the season against Norwich - helping Liverpool to a 5-2 win over the Canaries to progress in the FA Cup.
Making it three goals and three assists in six games since the turn of the year, Nunez has truly found his stride in a Liverpool shirt and is quickly becoming a consistent, dare I say reliable, source of goals.
Darwin Nunez’s record in 2024 so far:
🅰️ vs. Newcastle
❌ vs. Arsenal
🅰️🅰️ vs. Fulham
⚽⚽ vs. Bournemouth
❌ vs. Fulham
⚽ vs. Norwich
Underrated. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/mIuhp1LlvL
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 28, 2024
For a while, fans have harked on how Nunez benefits the side even when he's not contributing to goals, with his role as 'Captain Chaos' adding another level to Liverpool's attack and making things that much more difficult for defenders.
However, now that he's adding regular goals and assists to his repertoire, he's becoming a serious force in Liverpool's front line, and someone who is arguably indispensable.
This is backed up by the stats, with Nunez reaching a milestone than no other player in Europe's upper-echelons of football has managed to touch.
As stated by OptaJoe, Nunez is the first to hit double figures for non-penalty goals (10) and assists (10) across all competitions in Europe's top five leagues this season.
10 - Among players in Europe's big five leagues, Darwin Núñez is the first to hit double figures for non-penalty goals (10) and assists (10) across all competitions this season. Catalyst. pic.twitter.com/uKONnVVjrY
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 28, 2024
He is one of the best performing strikers on the continent - and while many would have hoped he'd turn into an Erling Haaland-type goal-poacher, he's actually developed into one of the most versatile attackers in world football, turning provider on top of scoring goals.
In fact, when you look at his overall record since joining the club, he ranks alongside some over Liverpool's greatest ever attackers when focussing on minutes per goal contribution.
Comparing players with at least 20 goals or assists in all competitions during the Premier League era, Nunez ranks third for minutes per goal contribution (106), only below the prolific greats of Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah.
Best mins/goal or assist in all comps for #LFC in the PL era (from 1992-93, 20+ g/a):
— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) January 28, 2024
To say Nunez has been disrespected in the media, still being regarded as a disappointment or a flop in some circumstances, is a huge understatement.
He's been a crucial part of Liverpool's revamped team this season, a side that has taken the league by storm and have their eyes firmly set on a 20th league title.
It's time for fans and pundits alike to recognise what Nunez has been doing, and not to jump on his back the next time he has an off-night.