Wolfsburg's Divock Origi ahead of the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Hanover 96 in the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, 9 September 2017. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa

Divock Origi future uncertain after early substitution and criticism for Wolfsburg

Divock Origi is speculated to have played his last game for Wolfsburg after another dismal showing, so where does that leave his future?

Only a few weeks back, there were positive noises from both camps about the Belgian striker signing a permanent deal to remain with the Bundesliga club.

Die Wolfe have been struggling considerably this term, lying 15th in the table and level on points with Mainz who are in the relegation play-off spot.

Origi himself has just five goals, but he has been a regular starter nonetheless, playing both from the right side in a 4-2-3-1 and as a centre-forward.

But recent displays have been particularly poor and at the weekend, against Hoffenheim, he was substituted even before the half-time whistle went.

German outlet SportBuzzer.de reported the utter displeasure from sporting director Olaf Rebbe at Origi’s display.

“We’ll talk to him behind closed doors. That was not a good performance from Divock, you have to stick to it. It must be analyzed how such 42 minutes come about. That was not what we agreed with him during the week.”

Head coach Bruno Labbadia had been expected to leave Origi out entirely after a poor run of form, so his inclusion from the start was something of a surprise.

But the early withdrawal in the 3-0 defeat has subsequently sparked rumours that Origi’s place is heavily under threat, with criticism aimed his way for “dispassionate performances” and being “obstinate and listless.”

With Landry Dimata looking a better bet in attack Origi’s withdrawal, the suggestion is that the team will be reshaped without the Belgian.

Back at Anfield, there similarly looks no place for him.

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Saturday, August 5, 2017: Liverpool's Divock Origi looks dejected after missing a chance against during a preseason friendly match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Liverpool at the Aviva Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He’s nowhere near the level of Roberto Firmino as a centre-forward, and doesn’t play the same way either. As an inside-forward Origi has rarely looked a consistent threat and he’s certainly not a game-changer in the style of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah.

It’s likely Jurgen Klopp will add another wide threat to the squad in the summer, and a new face up front would be appreciated by fans too.

It leaves Origi in limbo and with an uncertain future, and he needs a big turnaround to end the season with if he wants a chance to remain with Wolfsburg, have a chance at Belgium’s World Cup squad or even attract interested suitors from elsewhere.

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