Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has backed Manchester City striker Erling Haaland to shine in his first Premier League season, likening him to Reds new signing Darwin Nunez.
Haaland, who joined City from Borussia Dortmund for £51million, made his competitive debut for his new club in a 3-1 defeat to the Reds in the Community Shield on July 30. The 22-year-old, however, failed to impress. his first outing, he missed two good chances.
Speaking to The Times (via Anfield Watch), Van Dijk shared his two cents on the Norwegian after he hit him during Saturday’s game. He praised the City player and said:
“He (Haaland) will make life difficult for the defenders in England. He is direct, he has everything, he knows how to direct the ball, he is fast, we stopped him. Maybe he had two chances, but other than that we played well together. I won’t give him much advice, but I think he will be able to focus on his game and not worry about what other people will say.
“There is pressure as others come in large numbers. What can you do about it? You come to the club to play; the club pays a large transfer fee; you can’t control that “You have to keep your head down, and this time score as many goals as possible at Manchester City. It’s the same for Darwin and for us, and hopefully we can see Darwin score more points.”
Nunez arrived at Anfield from Benfica in a deal worth up to £85m. He had a great start for the Reds last weekend. After coming on as a substitute in the Community Shield, Nunez helped his team to a penalty and scored another fine header on his debut.
Haaland scored 27 goals and provided five assists in 29 games for Borussia Dortmund last season. Meanwhile, Nunez has registered 34 goals and four assists in 41 outings for Benfica. Both forwards are hoping to light up the Premier League, after fruitful campaigns.
Roberto Firmino breaks his silence on his Liverpool future
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According to the Liverpool Echo, striker Roberto Firmino attracted a £19.5m bid from Juventus in the summer but the 30-year-old has played down rumors of a move away from Liverpool. Speaking to TNT Sports Brasil, he said:
“I love this team, this city and the fans. I’m here. I want to stay, of course.”
The Brazilian has registered 98 goals and 74 assists in 327 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool. He scored 11 goals and provided five assists last season and hopes for a better return this time around.