Divock Origi is set to start Liverpool’s Champions League match against AC Milan on Tuesday, with Jurgen Klopp handing him the chance to turn his future at Anfield around
Linked with moves away every transfer window, Origi can look at his trophy cabinet which contains winners’ medals for both the Premier League and Champions League and be – understandably – dissatisfied.
“Moaned is not the right word but of course he knocked on my door and we were talking about things,” Klopp revealed ahead of the Reds’ trip to AC Milan, having been asked whether the 26-year-old complains about his limited opportunities.
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Yet to start a Premier League match this season, his third substitute appearance came on Saturday at Wolverhampton Wanderers, once again scoring a late winner to cement his place in Anfield folklore and boost his team’s top-flight title chances.
But will Origi ever become a regular starter?
Well, Klopp says he is “pretty likely” to start in Milan on Tuesday, with Liverpool having already wrapped up first place in Group B and the hosts likely needing a win to qualify for the knockout stages.
The German manager is set to make changes to his more tried and trusted starting XI – one being resting 19-goal man Mohamed Salah.
Origi will be chomping at the bit to feature, having played just one minute less in two games for Belgium since the start of November than he has done for his club.
His boss has admitted that a combination of badly-timed injuries and the quality of the Reds’ attack in recent years has resulted in Origi, who he has labelled a “legend,” being firmly down the pecking order.
So, given the super sub’s upcoming opportunity ahead of a busy festive period in which Klopp will be keen to rotate, Origi can take the first step in turning his Anfield career around by using his ‘special mentality’.
“It’s not that he can only come on and play well,” Klopp stated, backing his striker to produce from the get-go at the San Siro.
“He had brilliant games for us from the start. In one of the biggest games in our history – against Barcelona [the 2019 semi-final second leg], for example – he started, played an incredible game and scored the goals in the right moments.
“It’s just part of his skillset, that’s it. He is a very positive person, that’s for sure, and he is incredibly talented, that’s just how it is.
“He can shoot with right and left; his technical level is incredible; he’s really, really, really quick; he is in the air, how we all know, a monster as well.
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“He is a really interesting package. But, that doesn’t mean that you are a constant starter for Liverpool FC because of the quality we have.
“That’s how it is. That’s how life is. There are worse things than being not a constant starter for Liverpool FC, I tell you.
“It’s really nice to be part of this squad, really nice to be part of this team. It’s all good but it’s nice that he has that skill and that he used it at the weekend.”
His Saturday heroics may not matter come Tuesday night, though, with a true chance to prove himself on the horizon.