Manchester City and Liverpool finished first and second in the Premier League last season. This summer has seen both teams continue to try to improve their squads in preparation for another title fight.
The two teams have made two of the most significant signings so far in the summer transfer window. Both teams have made signings to improve their attacks. Liverpool is set to finalize the transfer of Benfica star Darwin Nunez, while Manchester City signed Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. With the rivalry between the two teams growing, Nunez and Haaland could become the center of one of the most exciting matchups in European soccer.
Darwin Nunez Joins Liverpool
Nunez joins Liverpool from Benfica in Portugal, where the 22-year-old was one of the most exciting players in the Primeira Liga last season. Nunez’s performances in Portugal caught the attention of several Premier League clubs in the last few months, as Arsenal, and Liverpool’s rivals Manchester United, also showed interest in the forward.
The signing of Nunez is key for Liverpool for many reasons. Jurgen Klopp’s primary forwards Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino are aged 30, 29, and 30 respectively. Nunez, at just 22, will add not only significant talent to Liverpool’s front three, but also add much-needed youth to a club with many key players approaching, or already in, their 30s.
Another key benefit of the signing is the young Uruguyan’s ability to immediately be a main contributor for Liverpool as soon as he joins the team. While Nunez is only 22 and still has great potential for future development, he is already one of the best goal scorers in Europe. He was the top scorer in Portugal last season, with 26 goals in 28 matches in Primeira Liga competition.
In addition, Nunez has Champions League experience. Benfica reached the Champions League group stage after advancing through the qualifying rounds last season. Despite being in a group with Bayern Munich and Barcelona, the Portuguese side advanced to the knockout rounds, defeating Ajax in the Round of 16 before losing to Nunez’s new team Liverpool in the quarterfinals.
During the Champions League campaign, Nunez was a key part of Benfica’s success. In the group stage, he scored three goals, including a brace against Barcelona in a 3-0 victory. He added three goals in the knockout rounds, including a 77th-minute goal in the Round of 16 against Ajax that advanced Benfica to the next round of the tournament.
Nunez is one of the most exciting young players in Europe. Jurgen Klopp will be able to help him develop over the next several seasons, as he did with Mane, Salah, and Firmino. In the future, Nunez should help Liverpool to continue to remain one of the best teams in the Premier League, and will be key as the team hopes to regain the title from Manchester City, who signed a fantastic young forward of their own this summer.
Erling Haaland Follows His Father’s Footsteps at Manchester City
Much like his father, Alfie, Erling Haaland’s career has taken him to Manchester City. The 21-year-old is one of the best players in the world, and has already proven himself in one of the best leagues in the world during his time at Borussia Dortmund.
Haaland dealt with a few injuries at Borussia Dortmund last season, but still scored 22 goals in 24 Bundesliga games along with three goals in the Champions League. The Norwegian international is one of the best finishers in the world.
Manchester City has been in need of a striker for much of the last year. After Sergio Aguero’s departure from the club, Gabriel Jesus was essentially the only player at the position in the squad. Despite this, the team won the Premier League last season and was the highest-scoring team in the league.
The addition of Haaland will only increase the offensive capabilities of Pep Guardiola’s side. A prolific scorer, Haaland will deepen the forward group at Manchester City. He will add to a talented group of young players including Phil Foden, who has established himself, like Haaland, as one of the best young players in the world, and academy players just becoming a part of the first team such as Cole Palmer.
Manchester City and Liverpool have been the best two teams in the Premier League over the last several seasons, and both are making significant moves to improve this summer. Nunez and Haaland, who both join their new clubs this summer, play the same position, and are among the best young players in the world, will undoubtedly be compared during their careers at the two clubs.
If both players’ careers at their new clubs go as they and their clubs hope, the pair could define this era of the growing rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City. For the Premier League, it represents two signings that will help the league grow in popularity and recognition, not only because of the talent Haaland and Nunez have but also because of the moments they could create while they play in the Premier League.