It's been 15 months since Darwin Núñez arrived at Liverpool, but it was only in Saturday's Merseyside derby that he reached a full season's worth of appearances (38) in the Premier League. Having complained of cramp after he played a starring role in Uruguay's win over Brazil a few days earlier, Núñez was named amongst the substitutes, but he came on to provide an assist for Mohamed Salah's second goal.

Liverpool has played 47 league matches since he arrived, and Núñez has been unavailable for nine of those, six through injury and three through suspension after his infamous red card on his full debut against Crystal Palace. There have also been a handful of games where he's been fit enough for the bench but not the starting line-up — like Saturday's clash with Everton and the trip to Tottenham Hotspur last month when he notified the club of discomfort — but for the most part his omissions have been tactical. Overall, his starting rate stands at just 47 per cent (22 out of 47).

Klopp boasts an enviable set of attacking options, with Salah, Diogo Jota, Luis Díaz and Cody Gakpo all offering alternatives to Núñez, and the Uruguayan has often had to make way on the basis of form, tactics or pure rotation. He's only just cleared the 2,000-minute mark in the Premier League.

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Damningly, Núñez has actually started fewer games than Jordan Henderson (23) since he arrived, even though the latter left the club to join Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq in the summer. He's also level with Gakpo, who only joined from PSV in January this year, and just three ahead of young midfielder Harvey Elliott and back-up center-half Joe Gomez.

To make matters more difficult for him, the 24-year-old rarely finishes the games that he does start. He's completed 90 minutes just six times in the league, averaging a mere 54 minutes per appearance, and since the beginning of last season, he's been substituted more times (16) than any of his teammates.

You might think this is a natural for an attacker, given established substitution patterns and Liverpool's strength-in-depth, but the next three players on the list — Elliott (15 times), Trent Alexander-Arnold (14) and Curtis Jones (13, tied with Jota) — all play in different positions. Ultimately, the next step towards Núñez's long-awaited 'explosion' is abundantly clear — forcing his way into the line-up on a consistent basis, and then performing well enough to stay on the pitch for longer.

If he can do those two things, then it's inevitable his headline numbers will improve, even if it is something of a chicken-and-egg situation. Up to now, Liverpool has only really seen half, or more precisely 47 per cent, of what he can do. For the full explosion that many have been predicting to come true, Núñez needs to be on the pitch for longer.