Darwin Nunez, a €75 million Uruguayan attacker, had what Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called a “beautiful night” against RB Leipzig, earning him high plaudits from Klopp.
In Liverpool’s resounding 5-0 preseason victory over the German team at the Red Bull Arena, Nunez, 23, was responsible for four of the club’s five goals.
After Egyptian Mohamed Salah had given the Merseyside club the lead in the eighth minute, Nunez came off the bench after the break and took over penalty duties, making no mistake from the spot to open his account.
The former Benfica striker doubled his tally from distance and completed a quick-fire hat-trick by poking home from close range following a cross from Harvey Elliott before adding a fourth from a brilliant counter-attack.
Klopp praised his new recruit for showing a cool head, particularly from the penalty spot, and believes scoring his first goals in a Liverpool shirt since joining last month will be a weight off Nunez’s shoulders.
“Mo gives Darwin the penalty and Darwin, Pandora’s box was open,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com. “That’s of course a perfect night for him.
“We always think that if you pay a lot of money then the players feel no pressure or whatever.
“They are all completely normal human beings and the first touch is not perfect then all of a sudden … This generation of players read social media, which is really not smart, but they do.
“All of a sudden you get in a rush and these kinds of things. That’s the best way obviously to stop all these discussions.”
Liverpool defender Joel Matip was equally effusive in his praise of Nunez, adding that his new teammate will prove a handful for Premier League defenses this season.
“I think everybody is really happy for him and was looking for him [in the dressing room],” Matip told reporters.
“Great finish, great speed, and the body he always puts in – I think it will be really difficult for opponents.”
Liverpool head to Austria for a week-long training camp as they step up preparations for the new Premier League season.
The Reds begin their campaign with a trip to Fulham on August 6.