believes will be an ‘effective striker’ for Liverpool despite another mixed performance from the £85m signing in the victory over in Amsterdam.
Needing a draw to reach the knockout stages of the competition, Jurgen Klopp’s side rode their luck before Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah combined to put Liverpool ahead with their only shot on target in the first half.
Summer signing Nunez, returning to the Liverpool team after recovering from injury, should have doubled the lead but could only strike the post with an open goal in front of him.
The Uruguay forward made up for his horror miss shortly after half-time with a towering header from Andy Robertson’s corner.
Harvey Elliott put the game to bed moments later after latching onto Salah’s through ball and beating Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer from a tight angle.
Asked to rate Nunez’s performance in Liverpool’s 3-0 win, Ferdinand told BT Sport ‘There were good and bad moments for him.
‘He had a bit of an indifferent night. There’s moments with him where you’re just scratching your head but then he scored which is what you’ve bought him for.
‘The thing with him is he always tries to get in the box and score goals, his head never drops, he’s tenacious, he wants to graft and fight. That’s definitely a plus, you want that in your side.
‘He’s never going to be the cleanest of strikers but he will be an effective striker in the long run, an effective striker who scores goals at this football club.
‘As a defender he would be hard to play against, he will give a lot of defenders a hard days’ work.’
Liverpool’s victory in Amsterdam means Klopp’s side face group leaders Napoli in a dead rubber at Anfield next week.
Klopp was pleased to see the Reds put their domestic form to one side and produce a result against Ajax and praised Nunez’s performance.
He said: ‘They had a top half an hour from a specific moment where they created a lot of pressure and did really well and we had to defend with a lot of passion.
‘We scored a goal which was exceptional. The second half we had a really good start and controlled the game from then on.
‘We changed system again a little bit, we had to. We thought it would make sense. Ajax are a good football team and full of confidence always and you have to adjust. We did that and fine.
‘It is clear. We are through to the knockouts and I will never take that for granted. Really helpful for the club, of course it gives the lift. Tonight we all feel great and we have a few days to prepare for Leeds.’
On Nunez, Klopp added: ‘I think even he was surprised [when the ball came to him which he struck the post with]!
‘He had a really good game in both directions, helped defending and played with a big heart today so hopefully we took him off early enough.’
Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League and return to domestic action on Saturday against struggling Leeds United.
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