Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez has told ESPN that Luis Suarez messaged him with advice after his red card against Crystal Palace, telling him to become « strong » if he wanted to succeed in the Premier League.
Nunez has experienced a mixed start to his Liverpool career since joining from Benfica this summer and was sent off earlier this season after headbutting Joachim Andersen in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
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That prompted fellow Uruguay international and former Anfield hero Suarez to send a message to Nunez with some pointers on how not to rise to provocation from defenders in the English top-flight.
« It was a good thing because not many would bother themselves to pick up the phone and send you a message — I think his gesture was really important to me, » Nunez told ESPN.
« Luis is a reference point, an idol everywhere in the world. I’m getting started, I’m young, and he knows about all those things because he already played in the Premier League with Liverpool.
« Luis told me that these things will happen in every game in the Premier League, that they’ll come and find me, that they’re going to bump into me, and that I need to make myself strong and not repeat my screw- up.
« He said: ‘Listen to an idiot like me.’ I really appreciate that message and the fondness he has for me. »
Liverpool signed Nunez for a fee which sources told ESPN was worth up to €100 million. He has scored six goals in 13 games across all competitions since then.
Suarez scored 82 goals in 133 games for Liverpool from 2011-2014 before leaving for Barcelona, lifting the League Cup in 2012 and leading an unsuccessful Premier League title challenge in 2013-14.