Believe in him Klopp – This out of favour Liverpool youngster could still turn it around at Anfield


World Cup 2014 created moments of its own and the rise of Belgian football was one of the major talking points of the tournament. The Red Devils were not highly impressive, but a 19-year-old striker gained massive attention coming in place of Romelu Lukaku and scoring the winning goal against Russia to make his nation qualify for the knockouts.

Thus, Divock Origi became the youngest ever goalscorer for Belgium in a World Cup, and clubs started circling like vultures for the starlet. Liverpool, then managed by Brendan Rodgers, reacted sharply in acquiring the young talent from Lille in the summer of 2014 and immediately sent him back to the French club on a season-long loan deal.

Origi had an ordinary spell upon his return to Lille but the Belgian showcased his excellence in front of goal under charismatic Jurgen Klopp, who replaced Rodgers after a series of dismal outings in early months of the 2015/16 season.

Origi scored 10 goals in all competitions and was pivotal in guiding the Reds to the finals of the League Cup and the UEFA Europa League. However, a horrific tackle from Everton’s Ramiro Funes Mori halted his momentum and the young forward failed to clinch a starting role under Klopp despite having a purple patch midway through the 2016/17 campaign.

Klopp allowed Origi to leave for Wolfsburg on a season-long loan deal last summer so that he could play regular first-team football. But things went horribly wrong in Germany as Origi had a dismal spell for the Bundesliga outfit.

Wolfsburg maintained their top-flight status, following their promotion-relegation play-off win over Holstein Kiel, and although the Belgian scored a crucial goal in the tie, he was often seen struggling for first-team action last season.

He only found the back of the net seven times in 36 appearances in all competitions for Wolfsburg which is nowhere near the standards set by the current set of Liverpool attackers.

Origi saw himself fall down the pecking order at Anfield behind young Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings before completing his Wolfsburg switch and his future on Merseyside remains in doubt.

However, the 23-year-old, who missed out on a place in Belgium’s World Cup squad, could have a future at Liverpool after all. The Reds are set to part ways with Daniel Sturridge and might allow Dominic Solanke to head out on loan as well. Thus, Origi might have his chances to re-establish his reputation at Liverpool next season.

Origi has all the traits to become a top-notch centre-forward as he holds a decent sense of positioning. He has a great physical presence and is a dominant figure inside the box. But he seems lost when things are not going his way.

At 23, he still has time to improve but the Belgian needs to be more versatile and less predictable on the pitch if he is willing to resurrect his career at Liverpool, who are tipped to contest for the Premier League title next season.

Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast and football fanatic.

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