Why forgotten man Origi is still at Liverpool
Divock Origi was expected to leave Liverpool during the summer transfer window yet the forward remains at the club.
Origi’s prospects of first-team football at Anfield are slim. Behind Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Harvey Elliott in the offensive pecking order, he managed just 17 appearances last term, despite Liverpool’s injury crisis.
He has produced some iconic moments at Liverpool, however, notably scoring a late winner against Everton in the derby and also striking against Barcelona in the unforgettable 2019 Champions League semi-final turnaround.
Origi was given a rare outing on Wednesday as Liverpool overcame Milan 3-2 in the Champions League, showing his value as he set up Salah to equalise early in the second half.
Speaking after the game, manager Jurgen Klopp revealed why Origi remains at Anfield.
“To be 100 percent honest, I thought he would leave in the summer, but the football world is a crazy place and obviously people forgot how good he is,” Klopp admitted.
Liverpool would have been content to offload the Belgium international to free up another non-homegrown player spot in their squad, especially as he is out of contract next summer.
The deflation of the transfer market worldwide following the Covid-19 crisis has scuppered many such deals taking place and he was a player to suffer.
The Reds would typically look to sell a player like Origi on to a Premier League rival, though clearly these teams had other plans. Middle-ranking European clubs would typically have been another option for the striker in normal times, but it is these sides who have been hit hardest financially.
As such, there were no takers for Origi, a player once branded "nowhere near good enough" by club legend Jamie Carragher.
What next for Origi?
Klopp admits that the 26-year-old Origi, who was signed from Lille in 2014, is unlikely to see much pitch time, despite his positive contribution against Milan.
“It is really difficult to get in this team and it's just that we have to work and I have to decide,” he said.
“There are difficult decisions who to pick, who to bring on and Divock has done nothing wrong.
“He trains, he gives everything and sometimes you still don't play yourself into the squad and that can happen when everyone's fit.
“But for tonight he was the right player to do it and he did really well.”
Origi has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League this season and has only made the bench once. However, Elliott’s injury could open the door to a more regular spot among the substitutes.