Virgil van Dijk believes Darwin Nunez is now beginning to realise his potential at Liverpool - and pointed to the competition for places in Jurgen Klopp's goal-laden attack as a contributory factor.
Nunez has enjoyed an impressive start to his second season at Anfield having suffered an at times difficult debut campaign following his arrival in the summer of 2022 for what could become a club record fee of £85million.
The Uruguay international had a hand in all three goals in Thursday's 3-1 Europa League win over LASK in Austria, slotting home the equaliser from the spot, involved in the build-up to Luis Diaz scoring the second and assisting substitute Mohamed Salah for the third.
Nunez stepped off the bench to score twice in the win at Newcastle United last month, played key roles in two goals against Aston Villa and was pivotal in Liverpool's second-half revival at Wolves last weekend when again emerging as substitute.
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The 24-year-old will hope he has done enough to retain his place for the Premier League visit of West Ham United on Sunday having scored the winner in the fixture last season.
And with Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota also vying for a role, Van Dijk is convinced the Liverpool forwards - who have scored 11 of the Reds' 15 goals this season - are driving each other to improve.
“Everyone has a role to play whether you start or not," said the Liverpool skipper. "Everyone has now seen the potential and the quality Darwin has.
"Up front, the competition is quite good. They all have to push each other and it’s good to see. Against LASK, Darwin was important withRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk