Jamie Carragher says next Liverpool boss has ‘big decision’ to make on £85m star | Football

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez squandered a huge chance to equalise against Everton (Picture: Getty)

Jamie Carragher branded Darwin Nunez’s glaring miss in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat to Everton ‘unforgivable’ and claimed Jurgen Klopp’s successor has a ‘big decision’ to make over the striker’s future.

Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin found the net either side of half-time at Goodison Park to move the Toffees eight points clear of the Premier League drop zone, while putting an enormous dent in their rivals’ title chances.

The result leaves second-placed Liverpool three points adrift of leaders Arsenal, who thrashed Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday night. Champions Manchester City, meanwhile, trail the Reds by one point but have two games in hand over Klopp’s men.

After a substitute appearance in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat of Fulham, Nunez was given the nod from the start at Everton and forward had a glorious opportunity to equalise shortly before the halfway stage as Mohamed Salah put him through on goal.

But the Uruguayan – who has netted 11 times in the top flight this season – struck the ball straight at Jordan Pickford and, just moments later, Luis Diaz squandered a golden chance from a near identical position.

Nunez, Liverpool’s £85million club-record signing, stayed on for the entirety of Wednesday’s derby but it was Diaz who came closest to finding the target, cutting inside and smacking the inside of the post with 20 minutes remaining on Merseyside.

‘The chance that Nunez misses before half-time, that is unforgivable at this level. That is not acceptable at this level, certainly when Liverpool are going for the title,’ ex-Liverpool and England defender Carragher said on Sky Sports.

Darwin Nunez chats with Jurgen Klopp

Nunez returned to Liverpool’s starting XI after coming on a substitute against Fulham (Picture: Getty)

‘I think there is a question to ask. You want him to do well because there is so much that you like because he gives everything, he runs and causes trouble and gets the odd goal and gets an assist.

‘But after two years when Liverpool this season are going to the title and those big games, you need your man to score away at Old Trafford, away at Goodison, in the European game at Atalanta. There is no time to waste, this is not October or November. This is the business end.

‘In terms of Nunez and where the club go forward now, we have all been in squads where someone comes in and maybe you talk about the first year and maybe say, okay he’s getting up to speed with and he’s improving, and it looked like he was at the start of the season. But it has ground to a halt.’

Liverpool have a ‘big decision’ to make over Nunez’s future, says Carragher (Picture: Getty)

Carragher said he doubts the ‘erratic’ Nunez has what it takes to help steer Liverpool to the ‘biggest trophies’ on a consistent basis, claiming the position may need to be addressed by whoever succeeds Klopp in the hot seat.

‘You are looking at it now and after two years, I don’t think there is going to be a massive improvement in him,’ Carragher added.

‘What we have seen in the last two years is what he is. He can cause trouble, he can be erratic with his finishing.

‘I don’t think it is going to be enough to win you the biggest trophies so I think there is a big decision to be made on him in the summer.’

A crestfallen Van Dijk speculated that Liverpool’s title hopes could be over (Picture: Getty)

Speaking after the match, a despondent Virgil van Dijk questioned Liverpool’s desire and felt the defeat left the team with ‘no chance’ of lifting the Premier League trophy this season.

‘Very disappointed in so many ways. If we play like today we have no chance to consider ourselves in the title [race],’ the Liverpool captain said.

‘I think everyone has to look in the mirror, look at their own performance and if they really gave everything. Do they really want to win the league?

‘We are fighting, there are games after tonight, but play like we did overall in the game like today… not winning challenges and giving the ref an opportunity to give a free-kick like he did many times, then you have no chance to win a title. 

‘It’s a tough one and we need to do much better against a side that’s [fighting] relegation. We had clear-cut chances in the first half that we should have scored but we weren’t good enough and it starts with the fight.

‘We can’t let the season go out like this.’

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