Ex Liverpool & Spurs man: Nunez & Haaland in Premier League goal battle
Liverpool began their 2022/23 Premier League season with a 2-2 draw at Fulham on Saturday, with Darwin Nunez make an immediate impact.
We spoke to former Reds goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who also spent his playing career at Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham, for his extensive view on Jurgen Klopp’s side.
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How do you see Liverpool’s season planning out?
“Liverpool will be one of the top sides in Europe again next season. Sadio Mane is a loss but I think they’re recruited well and I don’t see any lesser of a team – in fact it could be even better.
“Jurgen Klopp has done a magnificent job and I think we’ll see a lot of exciting football again.”
Will they suffer any mentality setbacks after missing out on a number of trophies last year?
“Liverpool won’t be suffering mentally after last season. It’s hard to win trophies and things would’ve really taken their toll because of how tough the Premier League is and especially over the festive period.
“It’s a lot more demanding than any other league in Europe. Liverpool have a great mentality at the club and I expect them to continue to fight. They have a great manager and obviously brilliant talent on display.”
Diogo Jota has just signed a three year deal – even after Darwin Nunez’ signing, is this a sign that Jota will be looked upon as the Reds’ main man?
“It was important for Liverpool to keep as many of their top strikers as they could after they lost Mane.
“At stages, they’ll have to rotate due to the amount of games that they’ll be asked to play and the staff won’t want the quality to drop so when they knew Mane wasn’t going to be at the club they knew Jota was going to be very important for the club.”
Would you say Allison is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League? How does he compare to Ederson at Man City?
“Allison and Ederson are both such great goalkeepers and equally so important for their teams, but I’d say Allison has the edge over Ederson on shot-stopping and Ederson has the edge on kicking.
“I wouldn’t want to be the Brazil coach, that’s for sure! It will be important that Allison stays fit throughout the season.”
What would be a good first season for Darwin Nunez? How many goals do you think he’ll score?
“Liverpool will want to see him score 20+ goals and I think he’ll have the chances to do that with the way that Liverpool play.
“The fans need to make sure they don’t jump on him straight away if it takes him a couple of months to get up to the full speed of the Premier League.”
Do you think Nunez will outperform Erling Haaland?
“Both will get opportunities to score goals; it’s just about the level of confidence and form they can find.
“That battle will be an interesting watch because they both have the potential to become the Premier League top goalscorer, but both teams also have a host of other names that will be able to contribute.”
If Klopp wins another title, is he Liverpool’s best ever manager?
“Jurgen is definitely in the conversation of being the best ever Liverpool manager. I see no signs of him or Liverpool slowing down – I only see more signs of possible trophies.
“The more trophies Jurgen lifts, the more he’ll be in the conversation, but for me, he already is the best.”
Tsimikas has proven to be a great back-up to Andy Robertson at left-back, do you think the Scot could be replaced by the Greek?
“Robertson is obviously the first-choice left-back, but is Klopp putting enough pressure on him to keep performing? I’m not sure.
“The good news at the moment for Liverpool is that if Robertson gets injured or suspended then they know they have a fantastic replacement.”
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