Paul Joyce Names The Chelsea Player That Scouts Wanted Liverpool To Sign Instead Of Darwin Nunez

Liverpool’s recruitment team were keen for Jurgen Klopp to sign Christopher Nkunku rather than Darwin Nunez, according to journalist Paul Joyce.

Writing in an article for The Times, Joyce said the decision to pursue Nunez in the summer of 2022 was down to the insistence of the Liverpool manager:

“Nunez was very much a Klopp signing (Liverpool’s recruitment thinktank preferred Christopher Nkunku, then of RB Leipzig, who has spent this season injured at Chelsea) and the manager spoke about how it is his responsibility to provide the player with the confidence to perform.”

Whether things would have turned out differently if Nkunku had signed instead of Nunez for the Reds, it is up for debate. As Joyce mentions, since moving to Chelsea instead, Nkunku has been plagued by injuries.

The France international spent the first half of his first season at Stamford Bridge sidelined with a knee injury and he has also sustained hip and hamstring problems.

Why was Liverpool’s recruitment team ignored?

Prior to Michael Edwards leaving his post as sporting director, there was collaboration on signings, with Klopp having given credit to his scouts for recommending Mo Salah.

However, Klopp has gained a lot of power in the last two years, which not only led to players like Nunez being signed, but also prompted the decision to recruit an ally in Jorg Schmadtke as transfer chief.

When Klopp leaves at the end of the season, it seems certain that Edwards and new sporting director Richard Hughes will assert control over transfer decisions again.

Does Nunez have a future at Anfield?

The decision to spend a club record £85m on the Uruguayan international is likely to be scrutinised, now the forward has failed to produce the goods for a second successive season.

Nunez has scored just 11 times in the Premier League this campaign, which is two more than he managed in his first year at Anfield, but it is not a record of a top striker. His future at the club will be rightly questioned.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.