TOM COLLOMOSSE: Wolves' trip to Anfield gives Matheus Nunes the perfect chance to show why Klopp wants him... he has made only one assist since his £38m move but there is a reason why Guardiola rates him as one of the best in the world
- Wolves travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Wednesday
- Matheus Nunes is on Liverpool's radar ahead of a potential swoop this summer
- Despite impressing, he's failed to score for relegation fighters Wolves this term
Pep Guardiola called him one of the best players in the world and Liverpool have a strong interest in signing him. For Matheus Nunes, Wolves' trip to Anfield on Wednesday is the perfect time to show exactly why.
You don't need to watch Nunes for long to realise he can play. The 24-year-old is a wonderfully easy mover and combines physical strength with sound technique. Given the raw material, it is easy to see why so many top clubs have followed him so closely.
Nunes remains on Liverpool's radar and when the Reds reconfigure their midfield this summer, his name will be high on the list once more.
Yet for £38million, no goals and a single assist in the Premier League is a slim return. In Nunes' defence, he is adjusting to a new league and country, has worked under three managers – Bruno Lage, Steve Davis and Julen Lopetegui – and has been shunted around various midfield positions.
Under Lage, Nunes was usually part of a midfield three, before caretaker-boss Davis decided to use him as a No10, due to doubts about the Portugal international's defensive abilities.
Matheus Nunes will be a key player for Wolves as they take on Liverpool on Wednesday
The midfielder is on Jurgen Klopp's radar ahead of a potential move to Liverpool this summer
Nunes' most impressive spell at Molineux came when the league resumed after the World Cup and current manager Lopetegui seemed to have found a way to bring the best from him, either as part of a midfield three or alongside Ruben Neves in a deeper role.
In the last two games, though, Nunes has stuttered again, and was substituted in both – a 1-0 home defeat by Bournemouth and a 1-1 draw at Fulham. In the latter fixture, Nunes played on the left of midfield.
'He has the quality to play here,' insisted Lopetegui. 'He starts on the wing, but after he can go into midfield.
'He is trying to adapt to this position. He has the conditions to have a good performance in this situation; he's strong, he's potent and he has good quality. Maybe he has to improve his finishing a little bit – he can do it – but we are happy with him.'
The 24-year-old has impressed on the ball but struggled to produce lots of goal contributions
Man City manager Pep Guardiola previously called Nunes one of the best players in the world
Nunes is clearly part of Wolves' best XI and he is the kind of player who can shine on the big stage. For the FA Cup tie at Anfield in January, Nunes was only a substitute. Despite his flickering form, Lopetegui seems minded to keep faith with him again as Wolves try to take advantage of Liverpool's fragile confidence, and ease their relegation worries in the process.
'A lot of things have improved since he [Lopetegui] arrived,' said Nunes. 'Everybody can tell that and we're going to try to get even better and get as high in the table as we can.
'We try to work every day to improve the way we play, to get to know everyone else who arrived in the winter transfer window involved, to help them fit in and settle down. We're more confident now and having better results, of course, and that helps as well. We just have to carry on.'
Wolves beat Liverpool 3-0 at Molineux earlier in February and while a repeat would be a tough task, it may just be possible if Nunes hits his stride.
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