Following the injury to Danny Ings, new Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that he only needs two strikers in his squad. However, with Daniel Sturridge picking up another injury and Benteke frequenting the treatment room at Melwood, Klopp really only has one fully fit striker at his disposal. Divock Origi.
That’s 20 year old Origi who was given his first Premier League start against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. I think it was fair to say that this wasn’t a debut that will live long in the memory. Flanked by Adam Lallana and Phillippe Coutinho, the trio did show promising signs, especially during the first 45 minutes, but failed to significantly threaten the Tottenham goal.
The former Lille striker, however, held his own pretty well, managing a passing accuracy of 91% and keeping the Tottenham center backs on their toes with his pace.
It was the Belgian who had the best chance of the game in the first half when, with Hugo Lloris stranded, the striker hit the underside of the bar from just a couple of yards out. Not the stuff goalscorers are made of but these are still early days.
Origi’s short career path is a strange one. His goal haul in three seasons playing for Lille is very modest 14 goals from 76 league appearances. He actually failed to find the net in 20 consecutive matches from October 2014 until March 2015. L’Equipe even included him in their worst eleven team of the 2014/2015 season.
It was the winning goal for Belgium against Russia in the World Cup that really shot him into fame with many suggesting at the time that he deserved a spot ahead of Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku in the starting eleven.
Such a suggestion certainly looks ridiculous at the time being.
Origi’s ancestors are Kenyan and herald from the Luo people, the same ethnic group as that of Barack Obama’s forebears. The Luo people, who originated from the South of Sudan, are actually known for their tall physique and most male surnames actually start with the letter “O” (while those of females usually start with “A”).
It’s this physique (he is 6’1″) and pace that are Origi’s strengths. He is yet to score in 5 appearances in all competitions in a red shirt but got an assist against Sion in the Europa League to round off a good performance, and was a willing runner against Spurs.