LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 8, 2023: AC Milan's Divock Origi looks dejected after missing a chance during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Tottenham Hotspur FC and AC Milan at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Divock Origi forced to train with youth team as Zlatan Ibrahimovic reveals his fate

Divock Origi has been told he will be training with AC Milan’s youth team after returning from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic the one to confirm his fate.

The former Liverpool striker has had a tough time since leaving Anfield in 2022, with a frustrating move to AC Milan and subsequent loan to Forest returning just 58 appearances, only 18 as a starter.

Origi has not had the same support he received from Jurgen Klopp in recent years and now his career has taken another hit on return to Italy.

Ibrahimovic, if you didn’t know already, is a senior advisor of RedBird who own Milan, and during a press conference to preview the 2024/25 season, he was cutthroat with his verdict on Origi.

The former Swedish striker said, as quoted by CalcioMercato: “Origi and [Fode] Ballo-Toure have been called up, but they will play for Milan Futuro (the reserve team).

“They are not part of the first team project.”

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tuesday, December 13, 2022: AC Milan's Divock Origi during the Dubai Super Cup 2022 match between Arsenal FC and AC Milan at the Al Maktoum Stadium. Arsenal won 2-1, and 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For all intents and purposes, it is a youth side and one that will be home to castoffs – which Origi now finds himself demoted into.

The decision draws a line in the sand for Origi and his time at AC Milan, with the 29-year-old surely certain to seek an exit this summer and attempt to get his career back on track.

Incredibly, Ibrahimovic and Origi were teammates at Milan in 2022/23 and twice shared the pitch before the 42-year-old retired at the end of that season.

Klopp’s Origi theory

Klopp was the one manager able to get the most out of Origi and the German had a theory why he has since struggled away from Anfield.

In his live Q&A as part of his farewell tour, Klopp told supporters: “The reason why we see Divock in a different way is because I knew Divock before the fella from Everton, [Ramiro] Funes Mori, killed his ankle. He was incredible.

“He played, at Borussia Dortmund, a game I never saw from a striker, honestly. It was absolutely insane.

“Best striker in Europe and at that moment he was 19, maybe 20 – in Europe, in that game, in that specific game.

“Then things happened. You get knocked down, really bad tackle, and then he comes back for the Europa League final, he rushed it a little bit because it was a final, he tried to get on the pitch, didn’t work out properly.

“And in a really important phase of his career, he couldn’t keep getting confidence, couldn’t learn how good he actually is.”