Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that forward Darwin Nunez will undergo a late fitness test ahead of Sunday’s crucial encounter with Arsenal. The Uruguay international, who has contributed three goals and two assists in his last four Premier League matches, has been instrumental in compensating for the absence of star winger Mohamed Salah, sidelined due to a hamstring injury sustained at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Despite Nunez’s impactful performance against Chelsea, where he hit the post four times, Klopp disclosed that the player was dealing with an injury sustained during the game, causing concern among the medical staff.
“A little side story you don’t know, I don’t know if Darwin will be available or not because after 20 minutes, someone stepped on his foot,” Klopp admitted. “Very painful after the game. He only took the boot off after the game because he didn’t want to see it before. He knew there was something.”
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While the x-rays revealed no fractures, Nunez’s foot is swollen, and his ability to wear a football boot again is uncertain. Klopp mentioned, “We have to see if he can get his foot back in a football boot or not. That takes time. I didn’t see him this morning so we have to wait a little bit.”
If Nunez is unable to recover in time, Klopp is likely to reintroduce Cody Gakpo to the starting lineup alongside Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, both of whom scored in the impressive 4-1 victory over Chelsea.
Speaking about Jota’s recent performances, Klopp praised the Portuguese forward, stating, “He just has it. He is a complete package, and he knows that and everyone knows that. He got a few injuries at the wrong time, and if you get too many, he is unlucky, and Diogo gets in each game knocks like crazy.”
Highlighting Jota’s intelligence on the field, Klopp added, “On top of that, he always is an extremely smart footballer. If the world looks to a country where it is not big but has a lot of extremely smart footballers, it is Portugal. The amount of footballers they have delivered to the football world compared to the amount of people is crazy. And the kind of players, too. Really special.”