Jurgen Klopp says Darwin Nuñez's period of adaptation is 'long gone'

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that in-form Darwin Nuñez has fully adapted to life at Liverpool, after a mixed first season.

The 24-year-old striker became (including add-ons) Liverpool's record transfer when he arrived from Benfica in a big-money move in the summer of 2022, having enjoyed a breakout season in Portugal.

The Uruguayan scored 34 times in 41 games in his final year at Benfica, including two against future employers Liverpool in the Champions League quarter finals.

However, despite netting 15 times in all competitions in his maiden campaign for the Reds, Nuñez struggled with both consistency and fitness issues, finishing the 2022/23 season behind January arrival Cody Gakpo in the Liverpool pecking order.

Many predicted that the former Almeria forward would go up a level in his second season and that has so far proved to be the case, with Nuñez registering eight goal contributions in 11 appearances to date – including an assist off the bench in the Reds' Merseyside derby victory on Saturday.

READ MORE: Elite chance-getter Darwin Nuñez is in line for big second season at Liverpool

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool's Europa League clash with Toulouse on Thursday, Jurgen Klopp hailed the striker's form, claiming that any adaptation struggles are a thing of the past.

"He is just in a really good moment," Klopp said.

"Darwin, yes, there was [time] necessary to adapt to a new country, new language, new team, all of these kinds of things. All of that is long gone. He is in the middle of the team and everyone is really happy with him, I am very happy with him."

Nuñez – who has a goal and an assist in the Europa League – could be in line to start on Thursday, having impressed as a substitute in the weekend win against Everton, following the international break.

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"We had to make a decision before the game of who out of the two would start. Lucho [Diaz] or Darwin? Darwin had some cramp at the end of the international game," Klopp said.

"I spoke to both and they both accepted it. Lucho's job was to create, prepare and do what he could to cause as much trouble as possible. Darwin comes on and kills the game off, that was the idea and it worked really well. But you could see it was intense for him even with 20-odd minute.

"It was the right decision and it is always tough for the boys to have these kinds of travels before games but he is fine now and he is ready for this game, the next game I would say. That is good. I think he is really happy at the moment as we are really happy with him."

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