Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has compared the current struggles of Darwin Nunez to a young Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund.
Nunez has received criticism in some quarters following his club-record £85million move from Benfica to Anfield.
So far Nunez has nine goals in 19 games, but his finishing and composure in front of goal has been questioned.
The Uruguayan wasted a number of golden opportunities during the 3-1 victory at Aston Villa on Boxing Day, however, Klopp believes this is part of a process.
The Reds manager points towards his former Dortmund striker Lewandowski to explain how raw, unpolished talent can often look messy at the start.
Poland superstar Lewandowski scored eight goals in his first season at Dortmund in 2010/11 before becoming one of the greatest strikers in modern football.
“There are a lot of similarities (with Nunez), to be honest,” Klopp was quoted on talkSPORT.
“Yes, I think Lewi would tell the same story. We had shooting sessions where he didn’t finish off one.
“We had bets all the time for €10 where I said, ‘If you score more than 10 times I will pay you €10 and if you don’t you have to pay me’. My pocket was full of money.
“Going back to that time, when I started playing Lewandowski the journalists asked me why (Lucas) Barrios was not playing.
“Lucas Barrios had scored 16 goals that season and was the No.9 in our team. So Lewi started playing in different positions to adapt to different things. The Polish journalists were not too friendly with me because he didn’t play No.9. He played in a 4-2-3-1 at 10. I thought at that time it made absolute sense to develop his game.”
Klopp insists Nunez has demonstrated enough potential to reassure the club over their seismic investment in the 23-year-old.
“It’s all about staying calm. When you see the potential, stay calm.
“It is so difficult in the world we are living in. I don’t mean this personally but because of you (the media) asking and making a big fuss of everything, then the supporters, social media and all these kinds of things. The more you can shut off that, the better it is.
“I think we all agree that the potential is so obvious. Is everything right? No. I think it’s clear when you see the second chance, the big chance in the second half (against Aston Villa) he can run a little bit on an angle and then he has a free choice.
“But it is all coming. You do it like this, the next time you do it like that. I had this situation with Lewi but it is not only Lewi. He is the obvious comparison. The team is completely convinced and that’s really cool.”