'Ground to a halt' - Liverpool told it must make 'big' Darwin Núñez decision this summer

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Darwin Núñez cuts a frustrated figure after Liverpool's defeat to Everton -Credit:(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Liverpool's title hopes took a heavy blow on Wednesday night as it was beaten 2-0 by Everton in the Merseyside derby. It was another frustrating night in front of goal for Jürgen Klopp's side, who dominated possession and had a number of good chances.

The best of the night fell to Darwin Núñez in the first half as he was put through on goal by Mohamed Salah, but fired his effort straight at the legs of Jordan Pickford. The Uruguayan has scored 13 times in all competitions and provided a further 18 assists but his form has dipped in recent weeks.

He has scored just once in the Premier League in seven matches and Anfield legend Jamie Carragher is not convinced that Liverpool fans will see a marked improvement in their record signing.

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Speaking on Sky Sports after the defeat at Goodison Park, Carragher said: "Salah has gone off the boil lately and it has shone a light on the others a little bit more. I think there is a big discussion about what the future holds for him.

"But with Núñez, I am at the stage where I don't think there is a question to ask. You want him to do well because there is so much that you like. But after two years, you need that man to score in big games. There is no time to waste. This is the business end.

"You talk about the first year and these players come in and they're getting up to speed, and you see them improving and getting better. It looked like he was at the start of the season but it has ground to a halt.

"I don't think there is going to be a massive improvement in him. He can cause trouble, he is erratic with his finishing. That isn't enough to win the biggest trophies and I think there is a big decision to be made on him in the summer."

His comments were backed up by ex-teammate Daniel Sturridge, who believes Núñez must do more on the training pitch to improve in front of goal. Sturridge added: "He has got to improve. If I want to improve, I do things at match pace. Five or seven shots, doing that every day, you will improve. You can't be ambling around and joking, it is not going to happen."

Liverpool.com says: It has been a decent season numbers-wise for Núñez but his form has dipped over the last few matches and he must do more. Like Carragher says, his finishing remains erratic and had Liverpool had a proven goalscorer leading its line in recent weeks, it may well still be top of the pile. The club's next manager may seek a new No.9 this summer.