Marcelo Bielsa has revealed he substituted Darwin Nuñez in Uruguay’s defeat to Ecuador on Tuesday because the striker had ‘muscular difficulties’.
Nuñez was replaced at half time in Uruguay’s World Cup 2026 qualifier away in Quito, sparking fears about the Liverpool’s striker’s fitness.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, manager Bielsa revealed that Nuñez was unable to keep up with the demands of his high-intensity role in attack.
“Darwin came into the game with some muscular difficulties and that limited him in his actions,” Bielsa told reporters. “I thought it was necessary to sub him because he over worked trying to press and attack in the last game.”
Liverpool’s number nine shone in the 3-1 home win over Chile on Saturday, bagging two assists. However, it appears his over-exertion in that outing limited his game-time in Ecuador.
Whether the substitution based on the ‘muscular difficulties’ Bielsa referenced is a sign of a genuine injury or just a pre-caution due to tiredness is unclear.
The 24-year-old has featured in all four of Liverpool’s Premier League games so far this season, but has started just once – in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa – and is yet to play 90 minutes for the Reds yet in 2023/24.
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Regardless of whether Nuñez has picked up a knock, he remains a doubt to feature for Liverpool this weekend.
The Reds travel to Wolves for the early kick off (12:30 BST) on Saturday, making turnaround tight for Nuñez and the other players making long trips back from South America after international duty.
Alisson Becker (Brazil), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina) and Luis Diaz (Colombia) were also in action for their national sides this September break, though Liverpool’s keeper was left out of their second fixture, making his involvement on Saturday less of an issue.