Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has waxed lyrical about Divock Origi’s recent form, suggesting the forward’s previous injury problems are behind him.
The 24-year-old looked destined for an Anfield exit this summer at various points across the season, but came alive towards the end of the campaign.
Could Origi play a key role next season? Five things to know…
- At the start of the 2018/19 season Origi was very much on the periphery of first-team action.
- He failed to make a match-day squad until October and only made his first PL appearance in December.
- He also only took to the field once in the Reds’ CL group stage campaign.
- However, the striker exploded onto the scene in 2019, scoring twice in the European semi-final and once in the final.
- The Belgian has since been rewarded with a new contract and Klopp believes ‘the Origi the whole world wanted’ is back.
He played a star role as the Merseyside club defied the odds to overcome a three-goal deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final – bagging a brace in the famous 4-0 second leg triumph – and netted in the final against Tottenham Hotspur.
As such, Origi was rewarded with fresh terms at Anfield, and Klopp now believes his forward is demonstrating the kind of football many were hoping of him before a horror injury in 2016, caused by Everton’s Ramiro Funes Mori.
“Divock made the decisive step in the last couple of weeks of last season and he deserved it [the contract extension],” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
“Not only because he trained, it’s like [his injury problems] fell off him.
“Since he got that injury, it was just glimpses here and there. But then we were training and you saw it, Divock’s back. It is the Divock Origi the whole world wanted.”
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“A new signing!”
Liverpool are yet to spend lavishly this summer, instead recruiting Sepp van den Berg for £1.3m from PEC Zwolle and 16-year-old Harvey Elliott from Fulham.
But, Klopp believes Origi will feel like “a new signing”, and has suggested his stock has risen to same level as when he netted a double against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League quarter-final three years ago.
He added: “If you could have asked at that moment the clubs around after the Dortmund away game ‘Divock Origi, do you want him?’ there would have been lots of clubs.
“That’s the situation now. Now we have to help him. He looks completely fine, has signed his new contract, conscious decision, all good. A new signing!”