By Noel Whelan

13th Sep, 2022 | 9:37am

Pundit issues 'harmful' Darwin Nunez claim amid new Liverpool development

Noel Whelan has claimed Liverpool must play Darwin Nunez “constantly” in order for him to “get back into the groove”.

The former Leeds striker was speaking exclusively to Football Insider in the build-up to the Reds’ second Champions League group game against Ajax on Tuesday (13 September).

Nunez, 23, was benched for Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat at Napoli last week (7 September) – with in-form forward Roberto Firmino taking the Uruguayan’s place.

The former Benfica striker, who cost the Merseysiders a reported club-record £85million in June, scored on his Premier League debut but was sent off on his first league start.

Nunez is yet to score since serving his three-match ban with Liverpool sitting seventh in the top flight.

Whelan claimed it would be “harmful” for the striker’s “match fitness and sharpness” to remain out of the starting lineup.

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He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think he needs to get back into the groove.

“The only way to do that is to play him. Play him constantly, whether he’s scoring goals or not.

“They’ve spent a lot of money on the player. We’ve all seen the way Haaland has started – but even he has had moments where he’s missed sitters and missed chances.

“I think you’ve got to stick with players like him – because you’ve brought him in to have that natural number nine option. Even if Firmino has started the season in blistering form.

“Liverpool have put the money down and got the player they wanted.

“The longer he stays out of the picture now, the more harmful it will become to his match fitness and sharpness.”

In other news, pundit issues emphatic Harvey Elliott claim after journalist’s Liverpool reveal.