Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp full of praise for Darwin Nunez ahead of Toulouse test

Uruguayan striker expected to start for Reds in Europa League clash

Darwin Nunez of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match against Everton at Anfield. Getty
Powered by automated translation

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has tipped striker Darwin Nunez to use this season's Europa League campaign as a platform to realise his potential at the club.

The Uruguayan striker is expected to start when the Reds host Ligue 1 side Toulouse at Anfield in Group E on Thursday, having begun last Saturday's 2-0 Merseyside derby victory over Everton on the bench.

Nunez came on late in the game at the weekend to create Mohamed Salah's second goal and continue what has been an encouraging start to his second season at Anfield

"Darwin is in a really good moment, took some time to adapt to everything but everyone is very happy with him," said Klopp of the 24-year-old, who endured a difficult first season at Anfield after a €100 million move from Benfica.

"We made a decision who of two could start [against] Everton, [Luis] Diaz or Darwin. Lucho's [Diaz] job was to create. Darwin came on and killed the game, that was the idea, it worked."

Klopp admitted he will make changes tonight but stressed that they won't be taking Toulouse lightly.

Les Violets won the Coupe de France for the first time in their history last season and have a win and a draw from their two Europa League group games so far. They sit two points behind Klopp's side, who have two wins from two.

Asked if he would make wholesale changes with one eye on Sunday's Premier League game against Nottingham Forest, Klopp said: "I haven't thought about Sunday, yet.

"Toulouse deserves all of our respect. They won the French Cup, a massive thing. This year, a young, talented team. They have a clear idea but we have to see how they show up here.

"It's not that I think we can lose this game, we want to win and that's the next thing, we have to bring nine points. We have to play our best, make a few changes, not too many, we will see. The boys showed so far they are really ready for the competition.

"They [Toulouse] got a point against PSG [in Ligue 1], which is obviously a massive one. We have to make sure we are ready for it. But then it's about us, that we really create an atmosphere with the way we play."

Kostas Tsimikas is expected to continue at left-back with first choice Andrew Robertson likely to be out for three months following surgery on a shoulder injury.

"Robbo had surgery and all went well, as good as it could be," added Klopp. "Rehab starts as soon as he wakes up, I think [surgery] happened this morning."

One player who could feature for Liverpool having recovered from injury is Netherlands international Cody Gakpo, who is fit again after a knee problem.

"Cody is in full training now since Sunday. He is available for the squad," confirmed the Liverpool boss.

Updated: October 25, 2023, 3:29 PM