Gary Neville believes Divock Origi is the perfect striker to provide back-up to Liverpool’s feared front three.
After scoring goals against Barcelona and Spurs in the Champions League last season, as well as bagging the winner in the Merseyside derby against Everton, the Belgian opened his account with a header to put Liverpool 4-0 up against Norwich in their Premier League opener on Friday.
The Origi effect: Five key things to know…
- Origi joined Liverpool from Lille in 2014.
- He scored just 21 goals in his first 76 Liverpool appearances.
- Last season, though, he became an Anfield cult hero after scoring against Everton.
- That status was sealed with goals in the Champions League against Barca and Spurs.
- Neville believes he is the “perfect” striker to provide cover for Liverpool’s front three.
Despite his newly-found hero status and goal on Friday night, Sadio Mane is certain to overhaul Origi in the starting XI soon enough.
However, Neville believes Origi has found his niche at Anfield and, in turn, has saved the club trying to attract a “£50m-60m” who may have doubts about his place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up ahead of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
“There’s a real difficulty for Liverpool as they have three great strikers and any striker coming here for £50m or £60m would look at them and think I might not break through,” he told Sky Sports.
“Origi is happy to play second fiddle and if one of them is injured or needs a rest he will play anywhere across the front.
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“He does a brilliant job and he is perfect for Liverpool. He challenges the space behind, he is a bit scruffy at times and isn’t the finished article like the other three, but he never will be. You won’t get another player like those front three sitting on the bench and being happy.”
Liverpool eventually ran out 4-1 winners against Daniel Farke’s side on Friday, with a Grant Hanley own goal, a Salah strike and headers from Origi and Virgil van Dijk enough to seal the three points for the Reds.
Klopp’s side take on Chelsea in the European Super Cup final on Wednesday.