It’s exciting times at Anfield. The glass certainly looks half full rather than half empty even with the departure of Sadio Mané. In Darwin Núñez the Reds are not only getting one of the most exciting forwards in world football at the moment but also a potentially record-breaking transfer.
The 22-year-old Uruguayan has all the traits to become a major success under Jürgen Klopp and become an indelible figure at Anfield for years to come.
But despite his tender age, Núñez’s path to Anfield has been far from simple. During his formative years he suffered a serious knee injury that could have derailed his career and which meant he was only spotted by European scouts at 20 years of age when he moved to UD Almería in Spain.
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Prior to moving to Europe, Núñez came through the ranks at Club Atlético Peñarol and his boyhood Uruguayan side could provide an interesting scouting location for Liverpool in the future.
Núñez is not the only promising player to have come through the ranks at Peñarol. The Uruguayan club have an impressive recent track record of providing a career pathway for some of the country’s best talent.
Federico Valverde, who provided the assist for Real Madrid against Liverpool in the Champions League final, also came through the club’s ranks.
Guillermo Varela and Facundo Pellistri both moved to Manchester United from Peñarol, meanwhile Santiago Bueno moved to Barcelona and current plies his trade for Girona. Nahitan Nández and Agustín Álvarez play in the Serie A and Diego Rossi, Facundo Torres and Brian Rodríguez have also recently made big-money moves to MLS.
That is an impressive production line for the club in the past decade, and their track record will only attract more Uruguayan talent to join the club in the future.
This should make Peñarol an interesting scouting location for FSG. Given the new point system introduced into recruitment in the Premier League following Brexit regulations, it is now easier to attract South American talent to the club and that could make locations like Uruguay a new hot spot for the club’s scouts when trying to discover cheap and under the radar gems.
Given the success of recent imports like Núñez and Luis Díaz in particular it would not be a surprise to see Julian Ward and co make more trips to the continent. If they do, Peñarol could be an excellent location.
As Núñez and Valverde both proved in the Champions League against Liverpool, the Uruguayan club have a knack for producing elite talent.
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