Darwin Nunez LiverpoolGetty/GOAL

Who is Darwin Nunez? All you need to know about Liverpool's top transfer target

Premier League giants Liverpool are reportedly all set to sign 22-year-old forward Darwin Nunez from Benfica. The Uruguayan has emerged as a top transfer target for the Reds this summer after the apparently imminent departure of their star attacker Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich.

Liverpool are believed to have agreed to break their transfer record and shell out more than £75 million ($94m) to land the Uruguayan striker, who is also wanted by their rivals Manchester United.

Nunez had caught Jurgen Klopp’s eyes during Liverpool’s 2021/22 Champions League quarterfinal tie against Benfica where he scored on both legs despite the Portuguese club losing on aggregate. 

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Who is Darwin Nunez?

Darwin Gabriel Nunez Ribeiro was born in Artigas, Uruguay, on June 24 1999, to parents Silvia Ribeiro and Bibiano Nunez. 

The forward hailed from a very humble background. His mother Silvia worked as a bottle hawker while his father Bibiano was a construction worker. The 22-year-old and his Lorena Manas have a baby boy, who is also named Darwin.

Nunez was trained in the academies of La Luz and San Miguel de Artigas before he was scouted by Penarol’s youth side in 2013 at the age of 14. After spending four years at the club, the striker made his senior professional debut for the club during the 2017-18 season in the Primera Division against River Plate Montevideo.

In August 2019, he moved away from his country for the first time as he joined Spanish Segunda Division side Almeria. After impressing in his only season at Aimeria where he scored 16 goals, he joined Benfica in September 2020. 

The 2021-22 season - Darwin Nunez’s breakthrough

Nunez had a humble debut season for Benfica in 2020-21 where he managed to score just six league goals in 29 matches and 14 goals overall in 44 appearances. 

In May 2021, he underwent a knee surgery which forced him to remain out of action for the first month of the new season. But after returning to action, there was no looking back for the Uruguayan.

Darwin Nunez Benfica 2022Getty Images

He went on to win the Golden Boot award in the Primera Liga with 26 goals and four assists in 28 appearances. He also netted six Champions League goals in 10 appearances. 

At 1.90 metres, Nunez is a giant of a man and has a huge physique which will help him to adjust with the physical style of the Premier League.

A perfect number 9, the Uruguayan has good pace, can dribble well and has the ability to track back which makes him a perfect fit in Jurgen Klopp's system.

How has Darwin Nunez performed in club football so far?































How has Darwin Nunez performed in international football?

Darwin Nunez represented Uruguay at the youth level and was part of their junior team at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He also represented the Uruguay U22 side at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Darwin Nunez UruguayGetty Images

On October 16, 2019, Nunez made his senior international debut against Peru in a friendly tie where Uruguay were held to a 1-1 draw. Interestingly, he marked the occasion with a goal, equalising for Uruguay after coming as a second-half substitute.

He was also included in the 26-man Uruguay squad for the 2021 Copa America in June but was ruled out as he was still nursing his knee injury and had undergone surgery a month back.







What has Jurgen Klopp and Jose Gomes said about Darwin Nunez?

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had praised the forward ahead of the Reds' 2021/22 Champions League quarterfinal second leg tie against Benfica. He said, "He (Darwin) is a good striker! The next one from Uruguay.

“I don’t know how they play together, Cavani, Suarez and him in one team, that’s probably a challenge to put that in place.

“Top, top boy. And yes, the goals he scored, obviously, the one against Ajax in Amsterdam was a massive one, a big one, and yes, in the group stage as well. So he’s not shy.

“We expect him to start tomorrow and we have to make sure that he will not get a lot of balls.”

Nunez's former coach at Almeria, Jose Gomes told Portuguese media Record, "(He is) Physically very powerful and with tremendous potential. He is an athlete of 1.90 metres height and has tremendous speed. The speed he has allows the team where he plays to reach the opposing goal very easily. Not only for the coach himself, who is a motivator and an enthusiast but also for the style of play he advocates.

“Klopp likes to play looking for spaces in the back of the opposing defensive lines, which means that we can say that Darwin will feel like a fish in the water because speed and quick attack are characteristics that he favours.”