Darwin Nunez is probably this summer’s Timo Werner. Or more Benfica specific, Joao Felix. He is a standout talent that has caught the eye of many European clubs with the expectation he will be sold for a sizeable fee.
He is the exciting new breakthrough, a name few of us knew last summer, suddenly becoming consistent on people’s transfer wishlists. Nunez has been linked to Chelsea, but who hasn’t?
Manchester United feel like the Premier League club with the most interest so far in the window, with others circling around Nunez with some reported fees going towards £90m for him.
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The 22-year-old scored 34 goals in 41 appearances for Benfica last season, six in the Champions League, where he garnered much attention.
His attributes make him an inviting prospect: tall, physically imposing, technically proficient and fast. There is already proof at Benfica of his ability to be versatile and play across an attack, much more than an old-fashioned focal point some may miscast him as.
The story of Romelu Lukaku and where he will be, come the start of the 2022/23 campaign, is very relevant to any strikers Chelsea pursue in the coming weeks.
Any attacking arrival relies on Chelsea selling one of their current cast, and after recent reports from Italy claiming that Lukaku aims to return to Inter on loan, the Belgian’s departure would make some room.
It is believed Todd Boehly, and his consortium is willing to invest heavily in this window, and replacing Lukaku with Nunez would likely appear to be a coup in front of rivals. However, there are greater things to consider.
Nunez shares some similarities with Lukaku, given his physical profile and need for a direct style of play.
As an informative breakdown of Nunez’s game by Tifo delves into, the Uruguayan relies on passes being played behind opposing defences, as Lukaku did for Inter.
Lukaku’s awkward adaptation to life under Thomas Tuchel is partly related to the forward not being a naturally aggressive presser like Kai Havertz, Timo Werner or Mason Mount, but also due to the lack of direct passes Chelsea play towards their centre-forward.
As is an old transfer problem for Chelsea that needs rectifying, just because a player might look amazing in one system, that does not mean those skills easily translate to the Premier League.
It also means that if Chelsea continues with their current style of play, there is a likelihood a large part of a talent like Nunez’s game would be lost.
For the most part, Lukaku has been used as a pretty stationary central point that the Blues played around, rather than the more dynamic player seen for Inter and Belgium.
If Nunez or a flurry of other names were just used the same way, there’s a likelihood you will run into the same problem again, which is something Boehly’s regime can ill afford.
Source by Football London