Jurgen Klopp has said Divock Origi will play an important role for Liverpool next season after signing a new long-term deal.
The 24-year-old Belgian was deemed surplus to requirements by some having spent much of the previous year on loan at Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg and it felt a matter of time before he was moved on.
However, no club approached the Reds for his signature and it was decided he should remain as part of the club’s squad depth, ultimately going on to make 22 appearances, with seven of those coming from the start.
Despite his limited outings, the Oostende-born footballer would establish himself as a super-sub, scoring pivotal goals domestically and in Europe, earning him cult status among the club’s support.
He scored a late winner in the Merseyside derby, before playing an instrumental role in the Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona, with Origi bagging a brace during Liverpool’s 4-0 win on that incredible evening.
In the subsequent European Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, he again came off the bench to score, but on this occasion Origi cemented a 2-0 win and Reds boss Klopp couldn’t be more proud of his turnaround, feeling as he grows older, there’s a big role for him to play.
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“Oh yeah, absolutely,” he told Liverpool’s official website, after being asked if his place in the club’s history is secured following his 2018/19 heroics.
“Not only the Everton goal, which was already historical, then all the rest he did against Barcelona and especially in the final is, of course, very, very special, and Newcastle as well, so he was so decisive.
“But it wasn’t [just] the goals, even the way he played then was so much better again, you could see it immediately. I remember when we played Dortmund away [in 2016] and he scored that goal, after that, all Dortmund [fans] were behind me going ‘Divock Origi, wow, what a striker!’ and stuff like this.”
Divock Origi has committed his future to the Reds. 🙌
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 10, 2019
“And then in football, you have a bad period, maybe half a year or a year or whatever, and nobody remembers you anymore,” he added.
“It’s crazy but it is like this. People in the last year maybe thought he lost it completely, so in this moment, it’s very good that you have a long-term contract in a good club with sensational mates and players around you who really like you. That helped him a lot.
“I’m pretty sure he always felt that he is really important in that team and all that stuff, so it’s brilliant. It’s just a nice story and probably nobody could have imagined it a year ago, and here we are. I think age-wise it’s an important contract for him and for us, it’s an important role which he will have in the next season.”
Origi’s redemption: Five key things to know…
- Origi joined Liverpool from Lille in 2014 but would remain on loan for a further season.
- He then played 51 league games for Liverpool, scoring 12 goals before joining VfL Wolfsburg on loan in 2017/18.
- Origi remained at Anfield last summer and played a pivotal role in their sixth European Cup success.
- The Belgian marksman came off the bench to inspire Liverpool’s turnaround against Barcelona.
- He scored twice in a 4-0 win, overturning their 3-0 first leg loss away from home, before scoring against Spurs in the final.