Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Divock Origi after the Belgian’s goal help spur a 2-0 victory at home to Sunderland.
The 21-year-old came on midway through the first half at Anfield, following an ankle injury to Philippe Coutinho, and provided the Reds with a different option in attack.
While the Black Cats’ defensive efforts held firm for much of the clash, Origi eventually broke the deadlock in the 75th minute, with his excellent effort from out wide soaring past Jordan Pickford.
This was the longest Origi had played in the Premier League this season by far, and speaking after the game, Klopp tipped his No. 27 to recapture last season’s form.
“Timing is very important and now he’s ready again,” he told reporters in his post-match press conference.
“He had a few problems after the summer break, then played nowhere—for Belgium or for us—but today he was switched on from the first second.
“Div was immediately in the game, that was really important. In the end, you need somebody to shoot the ball in the goal.”
Origi’s effort was certainly unorthodox, mirroring his second goal in April’s 4-1 win at home to Stoke City, with the striker giving the Reds an unpredictability in the final third.
Klopp explained how this was needed on an afternoon when Sunderland looked to frustrate his side by focussing heavily on defence, and praised Origi’s work ethic and ability to learn.
“He scored a similar goal already, [but] it was a surprise for everybody in the defensive line,” Klopp continued.
“He’s a really positive guy and he’s ready to learn. He’s still a young boy and today he got the benefit.”
With Coutinho likely sidelined for a lengthy spell, Roberto Firmino also leaving the field with a minor calf injury and both Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge already on the treatment table, Origi could now be given an extended run in Klopp’s first team.
After making his mark against the Black Cats at Anfield, Origi now looks capable of building on his 10-goal campaign last time out.