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Divock Origi returns to the international stage after 13-month absence

Divock Origi has ended his 13-month wait for a call up to Belgium’s squad, with the striker back in the mix for their World Cup qualifiers against Estonia and Wales.

The 26-year-old has long on the periphery of Jurgen Klopp‘s plans and, in turn, has struggled to catch the eye of Roberto Martinez and Belgium’s selectors.

But with Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi both unavailable due to injury, Origi has returned to the fray alongside Christian Benteke and the uncapped Dante Vanzeir.

“I can make up for Romelu Lukaku’s absence in different ways,” Martinez explained.

“As a target striker, I think of, say, Christian Benteke. Origi, Vanzeir and Trossard are more dynamic strikers, although no one can completely replace Lukaku.”

Origi’s selection comes after 102 minutes of action for the Reds in the last three games, taking his season tally to just 259, contributing two goals and two assists, making his call up a beneficial one for Liverpool.

With Roberto Firmino to be sidelined for four weeks or more with a “serious” hamstring injury, getting minutes into Origi’s legs and building confidence could be key.

The No. 27 has not featured for his country since October 2020, when he featured for just 22 minutes in a friendly draw with the Ivory Coast.

As aforementioned, his role within the Liverpool side does not lend itself to opening the international door but November’s World Cup qualifiers against Estonia (Nov 13) and Wales (Nov 16) offer a valuable opportunity.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's Divock Origi during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Origi has not scored for his country since 2014 and so there is no time like the present to end the wait should he be handed minutes on the pitch by Martinez.

He joins the likes of Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Alisson, Fabinho, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in jetting off for international duty this month.

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