With Belgium striker Divock Origi reportedly closing in on a move to Anfield, Ben Twelves assess what the 19-year-old can bring to Liverpool.
Wednesday night saw reports emerge in the media that Liverpool are close to sealing a deal to sign Belgium teenage international Divock Origi. Liverpool correspondent for The Times, Tony Barrett, revealed that the Reds are leading the race to sign the youngster ahead of Tottenham who are also interested in signing the striker.
Liverpool are closing in on a deal for Belgium international Divock Origi. Spurs are also interested but Liverpool lead the race.
— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) June 25, 2014
The 19-year-old, who currently plays for French club Lille, would reportedly be loaned back to the Ligue One outfit for the whole of next season, where he would continue to receive first team football – something that he wouldn’t be guaranteed at this moment of time at Anfield. It’s a transfer that has gone under the radar until now, so who is Divock Origi and what can he bring to Liverpool?
(All Stats via Squawka, WhoScored)
Born in 1995, Origi began his football career playing for Genk’s youth academy before being signed by Lille in May 2010. He is a pacey and powerful striker who has already racked up 40 professional appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals in the process. He has represented Belgium at international level from age under 15 right through to the national side, and he has already featured twice as a substitute at the World Cup.
He scored on his second appearance in Brazil – a late goal against Russia to send his team through to the last 16 of the competition. The winner saw him become the youngest scorer in the tournament so far and the youngest to notch in Belgian World Cup history.
Style of Play
For Belgium, Origi has featured as the main striker on his own so far in the competition, taking the place of Romelo Lukaku from the bench. While naturally a central striker, importantly for Liverpool, he can operate anywhere across the front line with his flexibility making him a good fit for Brendan Rodgers’ fluid side.
Origi, who recently said that he has always dreamed of playing in the Premier League, scored five goals in 12 starts and 18 substitute appearances at Lille last season and he was most effective playing as a left sided forward where in seven appearances, he scored three times. He posted a shot accuracy of 72 percent and passing accuracy of 78 percent, helping him create a total of 18 chances for his side last campaign. A player who likes to dribble and has good short passing, Origi is comfortable with the ball at his feet and could fit in well in future years with Liverpool’s possession based football.
Young Lille striker Divock Origi has said that it is his ‘dream’ to play in the Premier League. Full Story: http://t.co/ewQ4lOtwps #LOSC — Get French Football (@GFN_France) June 25, 2014
At 6’1, the Belgian international also has a physical presence about him which makes him hard to defend against for his opponent when faced 1 v 1. He’s a quick, powerful and direct runner with the ball, who likes to take players on and out of possession he looks to get in between defenders and in behind back lines, penetrating opposition defences. He has a confidence and composure in front of goal, often finishing with purpose, slotting the ball home into corners of the net.
Areas for improvement come in his defensive contribution to the team – leaving full-backs exposed on occasions when playing in a wide role, and his crossing ability – something that isn’t a feature of Liverpool’s style of play, as they recorded the fewest amount of crosses in the Premier League last season.
Brendan Rodgers clearly has the future of Liverpool in mind when looking at this deal, continuing to plan and build for what he wants to be a long-term and sustained success at Liverpool. Bringing exciting young talent such as Origi to Anfield is exactly the type of move the club should be making alongside improving the here and now.
Divock Origi is only going to improve with more game time and match minutes, and if reports indicating that he will be signed and loaned back to Lille immediately are true, it will be a wise move from Rodgers and the club to allow Origi to continue his development before bringing him back to Merseyside and getting his Liverpool career underway.