Divock Origi was starting to become a bit of a forgotten man at Anfield before making his first Premier League start at the weekend.
The 20-year-old was signed by Liverpool from Lille last summer after impressing in the World Cup for Belgium. He was loaned back to the French side last season but could only manage eight goals in his 33 appearances.
He has found himself behind Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings in the pecking order this campaign and had barely featured by the time Jürgen Klopp arrived on Merseyside. With Klopp being a regular user of the 4-2-3-1 formation, Origi will find it difficult to start as the lone striker.
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But with the trio being injured at the weekend, Klopp had no alternative but to hand Origi his first start.
In the press conference before the match, it appeared even the journalists had forgotten about the youngster, asking Klopp who he planned on starting up-front, given the recent injuries.
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“We have Origi – do you know him?” Klopp replied.
It was a chance for the Belgian to impress and while he missed a great opportunity to give Liverpool the lead, he will have done no harm in reminding the fans and journalists that he’s still around.
Nervous under Rodgers
In his cameo appearances under former manager Brendan Rodgers, Origi looked a bit lost; lacking confidence and was off the pace. He looked a different player under Klopp; confident, strong and quick. It was great to see.
Ironically, Liverpool fended off Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund to sign Origi, with the German admitting in the press conference after the match:
"I wanted to take him to Dortmund when Liverpool bought him.”
It seems like the Belgian will now have a big part to play for Liverpool. Ings looks to be out for the season, a big blow for the club. Sturridge's fitness has been questionable for over a year now while Benteke may not fit Klopp’s ‘gegenpressing’ philosophy.
Origi certainly will. He appears willing to work hard and Klopp obviously likes him.
“He is a very good player. Fast and a good technician, at this moment, not full of experience in the game because he didn't play so often, but we will have fun with this player, I'm sure."
Fun? It seems a strange word to describe the development of a player, but you can understand what he means. Origi is a raw talent, capable of producing moments of magic, those of which we are yet to see in a Liverpool shirt. But he’s also still young and he needs time to develop, improve and learn the game.
Many fans may have seen his name on the team-sheet on Saturday and groaned. Klopp is a far better judge of a player than, well, almost everyone. Just look at the list of players he brought for Dortmund on the cheap that transformed into superstars.
It obviously isn't ideal when three of your four strikers are injured, but Klopp could be right, Origi is going to be fun.
Can Origi develop into a player that Reds fans want to see regularly in the starting line up? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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