Last year, Liverpool began its pre-season friendly schedule with a heavy 4-0 defeat against arch-rival Manchester United.

Erik ten Hag's side were a week ahead of the Reds in their preparations and that showed, but the game did at least offer fans a first glimpse of marquee summer signing Darwin Núñez.

Núñez very nearly marked his 30-minute debut with a goal when a Mohamed Salah strike hit the post and rebounded back to him, but a slight touch from Eric Bailly diverted the ball over the crossbar and left the striker with his head in his hands.

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A few days later, Núñez and Liverpool were back in action against Crystal Palace in Singapore, and this time they ran out 2-0 winners.

There was more slight frustration for the Uruguayan, though, as he fired a shot straight at Vicente Guaita after a Salah cut-back presented him with a chance to open his account.

Remarkably, Núñez was already coming under heavy fire from rival supporters on social media, who had even mocked him for his performance in a training drill ahead of the game against Manchester United (via GiveMeSport).

This seemingly prompted him to tweet the word 'resilience' in Spanish, accompanied by a shushing emoji directed at his critics.

Clearly, he was having some difficulty adjusting to the spotlight after joining from Benfica for a potential club-record $110m (£85m/€98m) fee, but he went on to score a respectable 15 goals in all competitions despite his team having a tough year.

Only Mohamed Salah made more goal contributions in 2022/23 than Núñez and there is no reason to think that the Uruguayan can not better his goals and assists tally now with a season under his belt.

Twelve months on, the summer process has repeated itself, this time at Arsenal.

Like Núñez, Havertz was a big-money signing at $84m (£65m/€75m), the second-most expensive player in the club's history at the time of his arrival (now third after the nine-figure move for Declan Rice).

But he also arrived with the added baggage of his struggles at cross-city rival Chelsea following a $98m (£76m/€88m) move to Stamford Bridge in 2020.

And so, it was unfortunately inevitable that, when Havertz failed to score any of his 14 shots in a MLS All-Star Skills Challenge, his army of online critics erupted (via the Daily Mail).

The German would issue the perfect response in the ensuing fixture, controlling the ball on his chest and slamming it home to seal a 5-0 victory for the Gunners.

And in what looked like a direct riposte to the trolls, he then tweeted 'Hav that' followed by a yawning emoji, suggesting he was bored of the cheap shots.

Any new player deserves at least a season before a judgment is cast, but in this day and age, they don't even get the luxury of a single month, and as we've seen, the scrutiny extends beyond matches too.

The regrettable reality is that this culture won't change, so the task for players is to distance themselves from the external noise and not focus too much on it.

That, of course, is easier said than done, particularly when criticism can be relentless and all-encompassing.

At times last season, Núñez looked like a player who looked desperate to silence his doubters, but it was a preoccupation that clouded his mind in big moments. Havertz may well face the same challenge at Arsenal.

Thankfully, then, the duo have the full backing of the person that really counts — their manager. Jürgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta will both be certain that they can unlock the full potential of their expensive acquisitions, and the challenge is to impart that confidence onto the players themselves.