Divock Origi and Sheyi Ojo’s ambitious words on using pre-season to impress Jurgen Klopp

5 July 2018

After spending last season away from Liverpool on loan, young attacking duo Divock Origi and Sheyi Ojo are aiming to reclaim a first-team role.


Origi joined Wolfsburg at the end of the summer transfer window while Ojo made the move to Fulham two weeks before, though both endured difficult campaigns.

In Germany, Origi scored seven goals in 36 games, assisting a further three as Wolfsburg battled relegation in a turbulent season that saw two managers given their marching orders.

Meanwhile injury hampered Ojo’s progress at Craven Cottage, limiting the 21-year-old to 24 appearances, scoring four and assisting two, averaging a goal contribution every 253 minutes.

They have both reported back to Melwood for the start of pre-season training, as Jurgen Klopp prepares his side for their opening friendly at Chester on Saturday.

For Origi, speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, this will provide an opportunity to stake a claim for a place, though he conceded he would “see how it goes”:

“I am happy to be back. It feels a bit like I am familiar with everything and I never left, so it was easier for me to integrate back into the group. I’m very happy.

“It was a learning season for me [with Wolfsburg]. As a team, we had a difficult season with a lot of changes, but we fought until the end and managed to stay in the league.

“It was a bit of a change of scenario; I learned a lot mentally and grew a lot. I think I’ve come back more mature.

“On and off the pitch last season, I think grew a lot. I tried to keep fit during the off-season and now I am very excited for the new season.

“I just have to keep my focus on enjoying myself on the pitch and giving everything. The next few weeks will show.

“The feet do the talking on the pitch, so we will see how it goes. I am positive.”

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo in action against Tranmere Rovers during a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite Klopp eyeing reinforcements out wide this summer, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah his only established wingers last season, Ojo’s prospects seem more limited.

He returns to Merseyside facing competition from fellow youngsters Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent, while Origi could also operate on the flanks as well as providing cover for Roberto Firmino.

But he only turned 21 in June, and while he is yet to discuss his future with Klopp he remains optimistic:

“It’s a really good feeling, I was delighted to be coming back and was looking forward to pre-season.

“I’ve been working really hard during the break and I’ve been really excited about getting back to Liverpool and hopefully showing what I can do.

“I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been and I feel like I’m as strong mentally as I’ve ever been, so I’m really excited about what’s to come this season.

“The main focus is to get fit, to get back into my rhythm and enjoy being back at Liverpool and hopefully do well in training and games.”

With Mane, Salah and Firmino still absent due to their involvement at the World Cup, and the likes of Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge set to leave, there will be opportunities for the duo.

But whether they are in Klopp’s squad when Liverpool kick off 2018/19 at home to West Ham will likely depend on their performances this summer.

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