Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has urged patience with Darwin Nunez amid the Uruguayan forward’s struggles in front of goal, saying the 23-year-old would have enjoyed a more prolific debut season if the Premier League side had been at their best.

Nunez has scored 15 goals in 42 appearances since being signed last year for an initial fee of 75 million euros ($82.56 million). He has scored one goal in his last 11 games.

“There is a lot more (to come from Nunez), that’s clear. He needs time to settle. The most difficult thing for a striker is coming into a team that’s not clicking,” Klopp told reporters.

“That’s the most difficult thing, but then scoring 15 goals – imagine we would have had a normal season for us by our standards. A good season, a 70, 80 or more points season, he would have scored 20-odd goals, definitely.

“Fifteen goals is absolutely fine, still three games to go so it’s possible he can increase that number as well, but we spoke about it – he needs time to adapt.”

Fifth-placed Liverpool, who are making a late charge for a top-four spot and an automatic Champions League place, visit relegation-threatened Leicester City on Monday.