Has there ever been a summer signing who has split opinion quite like Darwin Nunez? The Liverpool forward's start to life in the Premier League has both wowed and dismayed in equal measure.

Nunez is a player of huge talent and therefore a cause of huge frustration. On the surface, the Uruguayan has made a decent start to life at Anfield with 10 goals from his first 23 appearances in all competitions. 

But from one moment to the next, Nunez can look graceful yet clumsy, accurate yet wayward and brilliant yet raw.


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A man who knows plenty about finding the back of the net for Liverpool, BT Sport's Michael Owen, feels there's plenty to get excited about with Nunez even if the 23-year-old can leave him "pulling his hair out".

"Nunez is a player who has split opinion, he's very different to the man he replaced - Sadio Mane," Owen tells BTSport.com.

"I pull my hair out just as much as I get off my seat with excitement and joy watching him play.

"I was over the moon when Liverpool signed Nunez because he was so brilliant in the Champions League last year with Benfica, but I can't believe how many gaps he's got in his game.

"I can't believe how raw he is but, on the other hand, I can't believe how exciting he could be in the future."

Darwin Nunez

Owen believes there are similarities between Nunez's first season in English football and that of former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba's first campaign back in 2004/05.

Like Drogba, Nunez arrived for a big fee - an initial £64million with potential with add-ons to rise to £85m - and struggled to get to grips with the division initially.

Yet after a small improvement in his second season, Drogba would find his feet and develop into one of the most fearsome forwards in Premier League history.

"I liken him to Drogba," Owen says. "Because lots of people laughed and said Drogba's touch was awful and the ball was bouncing off him and that he couldn't score. 

Didier Drogba

"Then all of a sudden, Drogba turned out to be one of the best Premier League strikers of all time.

"Nunez is similar. Some of the attributes he's got leave me with my mouth open in awe. He does things not many other strikers can do... he's got certain attributes that you just can't coach.

"But he also does things that make me think he's never been coached! I think with the right coaching and the right experience, he could be anything."

The Uruguayan will be desperate to make an impression, as he always seemingly manages to, when Liverpool play host to Chelsea at lunchtime on Saturday live on BT Sport.

Jurgen Klopp and Darwin Nunez

With goals against Manchester City and Arsenal already in his Liverpool career, Nunez will be looking to notch another against a "big six" side when struggling Chelsea come to town. 

The Blues are in poor form heading into the clash and find themselves way off the pace in the Champions League race halfway through the season.

"Chelsea have been consistently average and a lot needs to change for them to get where they want to be," is Owen's assessment.

"The manager is under pressure, the players are under pressure and they seem to be throwing money around left, right and centre to find the right balance."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his Uruguayan hitman puts on his shooting boots for the occasion in a huge game for both teams. Score against Drogba's former club and it could be the kickstart Nunez needs to develop into a top Premier League striker.