What’s the latest?
As per the report, Joyce claims that there is a £44m deal mooted for the summer to secure the services of Nunes which appeared to get its seal of approval from Jurgen Klopp who shared an embrace with the Brazilian midfielder after the 2-2 draw with Wolves’ at Anfield last weekend.
Better than Elliott
Since the departure of Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer of 2021, Liverpool have been unable to acquire a midfielder in the advanced role that can not only connect play to the front three but also offer a reliable defensive transition in order to make the team tick.
Something that has always been the case at Anfield since the beginning of Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure is a high work rate in the center of the pitch that dictates the pressing machine so carefully crafted by the German coach which has led Liverpool to multiple trophies, including their first ever Premier League title over the last seven years.
That is why it comes as no surprise that Liverpool are suffering a downfall of epic proportions this season compared to their previous campaign when they challenged for a quadruple of trophies – only losing out of on the league title during the last 15 minutes of the final game of the season.
Should Liverpool sign Nunes in the summer?
Now, the Reds find themselves sixth in the Premier League – 16 points adrift of leaders arsenal – and at a crossroads with their midfield due to a number of contracts expiring in the summer whilst captain Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara reach the latter stages of their careers.
Not only that, Fabinho is in terrible form in his defensive midfield role and Harvey Elliott – who has played the majority of his short career on the right wing – looking lost and struggling to adapt to a deeper role in the center of the pitch.
As a result, the signing of Nunes – hailed “unbelievable” by Goncalo Santos – could be just what Klopp is looking for in a midfielder.
He is someone who offers a hard-working attitude to retain the ball and marries that with the ability to play a more advanced role to assist the forwards, two key attributes needed to really thrive in Klopp’s tactical philosophy.
When comparing the recently-signed Wolves midfielder to Elliott it is clear to see that Nunes offers a better output in his role including assists (2v1), pass completion rate (80.9% v 80.6%), tackles won per 90 minutes (1.44 v 0.62), dribbles completed (43.6% v 38.7%), aerial duels won (45.5% v 11.1%) and interceptions per 90 (0.58 v 0.35).
Indeed, the signing of Nunes doesn’t have to mean the end of Elliott’s career at Anfield as his attacking prowess is a huge threat to opponents. Indeed, he should remain a valuable asset to Klopp in the future, especially when Mohammed Salah’s contract begins to run down again.
However, at this moment in time, the need to strengthen and tighten up the midfield has never been more of a pressing issue for Liverpool and is becoming a serious hindrance.
With that being said, the signing of Nunes in the summer would be a great asset to Liverpool in their rebuild, however, it does leave the club in a sticky situation over the remainder of the current campaign as performances on the pitch must improve instantly if the Merseysiders have any chance of taking anything from a messy 2023/23.