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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool head coach on Darwin Nunez's huge potential, the Reds' fast start and a first trip to Luton

Liverpool boss tells Sky Sports why Darwin Nunez is now at home on Merseyside, the secret behind his side's strong form and what he's expecting from his first visit to Kenilworth Road. Watch Luton vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm.

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Jürgen Klopp shows his belief in Darwin Núñez and discusses the journey the forward has been on since joining his side.

Jurgen Klopp leans back in his chair and lets out that distinctive laugh. "I'm not sure if he's the most exciting, he's very exciting, definitely!"

We're sat down at Liverpool's training ground and the topic is Darwin Nunez. Like many elements of the livewire Uruguayan's game, his ranking on the Premier League excitement scale is hard to judge. But there's no doubt this is a player with serious talent - when he puts it all together.

His super goal to win Wednesday's Carabao Cup tie at Bournemouth was a perfect example of Nunez's at times chaotic start to life in a Liverpool shirt. There were ironic cheers from the home fans when he mis-controlled a long pass. But they were silenced when he went and gathered it, stepped inside his marker and whipped a shot over the goalkeeper and in.

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Darwin Nunez's stunner at Bournemouth sent Liverpool into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals

It's three goals in three games for Nunez now, with an assist in each of the two games before that run. While he may have only scored three of his 10 clear-cut chances in the Premier League, no player with nine appearances in the competition this season has a better goal involvement rate. That is something we can quantify about him.

But it is the intangible relationships behind the scenes which have given him the platform to impress after a mixed first season. He is close to Spanish and Portuguese speakers within the group, with Alexis Mac Allister, Alisson and Luis Diaz friends. But with improving English skills and a year in the north west, the striker from South America now feels more at home.

"It's really nice to see how he settles now as a boy," says Klopp. "The human being behind the player is really settled. Coming in, 'Good morning!' He gets into the English thing.

Darwin Nunez has made an eye-catching start to the Premier League season
Image: Darwin Nunez has made an eye-catching start to the Premier League season

"It's really different for him. It's difficult. Nowadays you pay X, Y or Z for a player and everyone expects they come in and hit the ground running and that's obviously not that simple. Especially with a different language. So it's really nice to watch him through the week.

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"He's a player full of potential, nobody doubted that but it was a rocky road a little bit. But he's here now and it's a joy. It's a joy to work with him, he loves training, working hard. He's a different striker to some others but he gives you a lot of options."

Klopp certainly hasn't been short on options this season but it has been notable how, despite rotations, his team have been able to deliver distinctively Liverpool performances across different competitions so far. The same cannot be said of some of their rivals.

The Liverpool boss puts that consistency in approach in the Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup - and the successful returns its brought - down to pre-season. He was determined to move on from what he describes as a "horrible" 2022/23 campaign, with as much time as possible dedicated to delivering his message to this refreshed pool of players.

"This year we had everybody back early," says Klopp. "I told the boys 'We can't give you another week here or there'. They were all fine, we all wanted to put it right. It means we could give all the players the same information, and that's the main thing.

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Peter Smith and Richard Morgan discuss whether Mohamed Salah is better now than ever before

"We were OK with injuries. Robbo [Andy Robertson] is a big miss, Thiago, of course. Conor [Bradley] would have had a lot of minutes already. But it's alright so far. If you sign for Liverpool you're a good player and if you have enough time to train and recover between the games, then you should perform."

It's an environment which has allowed Liverpool's academy players to come in and take their opportunities, too. After senior figures such as former captain Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino departed in the summer, and with an almost entirely new midfield brought in, there has been a shake-up.

From there, the likes of 20-year-old centre-back Jarell Quansah have been able to step up and thrive, just as he did in wet and wild weather at Bournemouth in midweek.

Jarell Quansah plays a pass against Wolves
Image: Academy graduate Jarell Quansah has impressed in his first-team opportunities this season

"The group is a completely new set-up," says Klopp. "A lot of our senior players, who were super important for us - nothing would have happened without them - are not here anymore. We restructured the whole group, so the middle-aged guys are the older guys, the young guys are the middle-aged guys and the very young are just the younger ones.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp provides an update on winger Luis Diaz's availability and the situation with Diaz's parents after they were kidnapped in Colombia

"Everyone was in the role two years before so they're very open to helping all of [the young players]. [Ben] Doak was a few weeks out but the other players don't treat him like a kid. He gets the same shout as a 30-year-old in training. That's a show of respect. They all have that. Luke [Chambers], Calum [Scanlon], James [McConnell]. It's a really good young group coming up and Jarell played really good at Bournemouth in difficult circumstances, against a Premier League side."

Klopp's experience in the game is no doubt a valuable guidance to those young players, too. But the 56-year-old will have a new experience of his own on Sunday when he makes a first-ever trip to Luton's Kenilworth Road.

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The away fans entrance has gone viral on social media - "I'm pretty sure our people will love that!" - and while it will be a change from many of the Premier League's more modern, glitzy stadiums, Klopp is relishing this away day.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he says smiling again. "It's a bit different if you're a supporter going to an old ground: 'My god, it feels like the Premier League 10, 15 years or whatever ago'. But we face the dressing room. We put all the stuff in… 'Ok, I cannot turn!'

"Probably it's pretty small but that's not important. There will be the possibility to change, put on the shirt and go and play a Premier League game.

"We respect them a lot and what they did last year was exceptional and I liked the way they deal with the situation now, not getting nervous. They knew it's a massive challenge, they enjoy it still and they will grab points wherever they can. We have to make sure it won't be on Sunday."

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