Belgian wonderkid Divock Origi has admitted that moving to the Premier League would be a dream, in light of recent interest from England in his services, but has stressed that all his focus is on the World Cup for now.
The Lille striker came on as a substitute to score a late winner in his side’s second group match against Russia, sending the team through to the last 16 with a game to spare, and believes that the stage is now set for them to push on after two underwhelming performances thus far.
‘Of course, as a little boy I dreamed of playing in the Premier League but I’m still young and now I’m in an important tournament,’ he said. ‘I’m trying to focus on the team and then my entourage will see with the club what I’ll do.
‘For us it is very special to play games like these, to show that we have talent in our group and it was also a special match because we scored in the last minute,’ he added. ‘Mentally we’re stronger now and we’re more confident I think.’
Appearing in their first major tournament since 2002, Belgium’s much-acclaimed 'Golden Generation' were declared by many to be the dark horses of the World Cup but, despite picking up maximum points from their opening two games against Algeria and Russia, the Diables Rouges have been unconvincing to say the least.
Having only made his international debut in the run-up to the tournament, 19-year-old Origi was somewhat of a surprise name on manager Marc Wilmots’ final 23-man squad, but his inclusion after injury ruled Aston Villa frontman Christian Benteke out for the summer has clearly proven a masterstroke.
Coming off an excellent breakout season with Lille, in which he scored five goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances, the youngster has already been linked to a host of top clubs around Europe, including Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool, and his World Cup heroics could well see his current £8 million price tag soar over the coming weeks.
With Belgium looking to seal top spot in Group H with a win or draw from their final game against South Korea on Thursday, some have called for Origi to be given the chance to start, considering fellow striker Romelu Lukaku’s poor form, which would certainly thrust his name yet further into the limelight.
Having gone to Brazil as a relative unknown to many, with even teammate Marouane Fellaini admitting that he had never heard of him before this summer, the emerging Origi is certainly in a prime position to establish himself as one of the most widely-regarded prospects in European football.