By Connor Varnish – @cvarn4
Liverpool’s Champions League hero is now set to remain at Anfield for at least one more season, as Divock Origi earlier last week signed an improved contract accompanied by none other than Ol’ Big Ears himself.
The long-term deal has no release clause, so Origi can provide the Reds some more memorable moments and silverware beyond just the 2019/2020 season.
The 24-year-old reportedly attracted interest from Spanish side Real Betis, who were interested in the discounted price due to the striker having just a year left on his contract. Origi, however, has shown faith in the current Liverpool project and the manager as he opted to fight for a place in a team that looks poised to challenge for trophies across all competitions.
In just seven months, Divock Origi has completely turned his Liverpool career around. Of course, it all kick-started in December with his winner in the Merseyside Derby, after he famously capitalised on a Jordan Pickford error in the 96th minute.
We all know how crucial he was in the Champions League, specifically in the second leg at Anfield in the semi-final against Barcelona – perhaps even more so in the final as his left-footed dagger killed any hopes Tottenham Hotspur had of claiming their first ever Champions League trophy in Madrid.
Even if we rewind to this past September, the Belgian was playing with the under 23’s, struggling to make the bench for the senior team. To put it into perspective, the now-departed Daniel Sturridge scored a header against PSG in the Champions League group stages in the same week Origi played against Swansea City’s youth side.
It’s remarkable how things can change in such a short span of time – from the fringes of even making the reserves of the senior team to being arguably the most effective impact sub in the Premier League.
If Jurgen Klopp continues his faith in the Belgian for the upcoming season, we should become accustomed to seeing him start more games, and being the first player off the bench in others.
With the Reds seemingly content on who they already have in the attacking department – barring the unlikely signing of a versatile winger to cover the front three– it looks like Divock will, in fact, be the guy to provide depth in those areas along with Xherdan Shaqiri and starlet Rhian Brewster, who turned a lot of heads in the pre-season match at Prenton Park.
They may not be the names Liverpool supporters would have liked to see covering our forward line following a sixth European Cup, but it looks, by all accounts, that Jurgen Klopp is satisfied with the lads he has in the current setup.
Divock Origi, now an undisputed Liverpool legend, deserves the fans’ faith now. He has shown his fighting attitude and desire to work his way back into Jurgen Klopp’s plans when the future looked bleak.
Origi gels perfectly with the Liverpool team, he has proven his doubters wrong, and deserves this new contract. He’ll certainly get more game time this season – let’s hope the Belgian pushes on from last year’s heroics and has a hand to play in a few more magical moments in Liverpool Red.