It was a difficult first weekend for the forward. After only recently returning for first-team training following his excellent World Cup and transfer talks with Liverpool, Origi had yet to start in any first-team action this summer, so it was quite surprising to see his name in the starting XI.
The expectation had been that Origi would make an appearance from the bench, coach Rene Girard easing him in gently. However, fellow striker Salomon Kalou’s name was nowhere to be seen on the teamsheet, so it looks like it wasn’t a planned move from Girard.
Origi started in the centre of Lille’s 4-3-3 attack. He had Ryan Mendes on his left and Sebastien Corchia on his right, but for the majority of the game he cut a very isolated figure.
A combination of lacking match fitness and being in a tough battle against an experience Metz defence made it a very difficult evening for Origi.
Most of Origi’s best play last season came when he was able to run the channels take his man wide, and then use his power and pace to beat the opposition defence and cut inside.
Left against two central defenders, he found it hard to influence the game in any way. He had one half-chance from a header that was well saved, but apart from that, it was a very quiet opening start for Origi.
It would have been very easy to get carried away after his performances for Belgium in Brazil, but this was a great example of how far Origi has to go to become a to- class striker.
This was of course his first full game back, but it is something that Lille fans have seen a few times in his career. It is a position that he could have to play a lot more this season if Kalou leaves before the transfer window closes.
Origi has so much promise, but he still has a lot more to learn about being a top centre-forward.