Tottenham Hotspur may have got it wrong in the striking department this summer.
The issue of finding a legitimate back-up striker has been a problem in north London for the best part of six years with many flops coming and going, ranging from Vincent Janssen to Fernando Llorente.
In the end, Daniel Levy secured Brazilian powerhouse Carlos Vinicius on a season-long loan from Benfica, they have the option to sign him permanently in the summer for €46m (£40.5m).
Spurs were linked to an array of names before settling on the 25-year-old, one of which being Darwin Nunez, who has been Vinicius’ replacement in Portugal.
And what a successor he’s been – that’s good news if Jose Mourinho wants to keep hold of his summer arrival, though perhaps it is the Uruguyuan youngster they should have signed instead.
On the same night that Vinicius struggled to make an impact against a pretty drab Ludogorets side, the 21-year-old bagged a last-gasp equaliser for the ten-men Eagles against Rangers.
Benfica’s new no.9 picked up the highest rating on SofaScore (8.3) despite only playing 30 minutes. He also recorded two dribbles, won 80% of his aerial duels and even put in two tackles.
That’s what you call an impact.
Nunez has taken his total for the season to five goals and six assists, having played just 728 minutes across ten appearances in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
The Primeira Liga giants signed the monster for just €24m (£22m) from Almeria, which is looking like every bit of a bargain. Meanwhile, the player they washed their hands with is yet to score for Spurs since the switch.
It is no wonder that Nunez has been compared to his fellow countryman, Edinson Cavani, who made the move to the Premier League himself this summer by signing for Manchester United.
“His pace, physical strength and finishing prowess has prompted comparisons with his compatriot Edinson Cavani,” claimed The Athletic.
He’s also been likened to Luis Suarez too.
Benfica expect to make mega profit on him in the future with manager Jorge Jesus tipping him to be sold for more than Joao Felix, he said: “All this decision-making ability, finishing and speed…He was Benfica’s most expensive purchase, and when there is no pandemic, he will be the most expensive sale. He will be a world-class player.”
If that turns out to be the case, you just know Levy will be kicking himself for selecting the wrong striker this summer. Nunez certainly appears to be one that got away.
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