A year ago, the Reds were still trying to find suitors for the Belgian striker who was only set to play a backup role for Jurgen Klopp.
As it turned out, he went from being onlooker from the stands to playing a key role for the Reds in the second half of the season, with strikes against Barcelona and Tottenham helping to clinch a sixth European Cup for the Reds.
Origi has one year left on his contract and his agent is in talks with the club over an extension after his exploits last season—but ESPN’s Melissa Reddy reports that Origi will not be departing this summer even if no agreement is reached.
The 24-year-old seems likely to be the first reserve centre-forward next term, with Liverpool unlikely to add a No. 9 this summer. He, along with Rhian Brewster, will provide the alternatives to Roberto Firmino through the middle of the attack.
Conversations over an extension to Origi’s contract will likely centre around how much game time he gets, whether he has earned the trust of the manager on a more regular basis now and what his future as a Liverpool player looks like.
While he might well accept being a regular super-sub for one of Europe’s best attacks, Origi won’t want a return to the long stretches of non-involvement he suffered last year at times.
Daniel Sturridge‘s departure makes matter easier there, while Brewster is as-yet untested at senior level.
Reddy further notes that “Liverpool have already recouped more than half of the £10 million they paid Lille for him in 2014 through loan fees from Wolfsburg,” meaning there is no direct pressure to recoup a fee for Origi.
Even at the time he was seen as a speculative signing for the future, which has paid off handsomely even if Liverpool don’t receive another penny for him.
Emre Can, Jon Flanagan, Alberto Moreno and Sturridge have all left on frees in recent summers—but the Reds have still found a way to make good money from other squad player sales over the past few seasons.