Why Belgium boss Wilmots was concerned about Origi's move to Liverpool

Anfield Kop

Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots was initially concerned about Divock Origi's move from Lille to Liverpool because it may restrict playing time.

Divock Origi's post World Cup transfer from Lille to Liverpool generated excitement amongst those who support the Reds, however, the move made Belgium manager Marc Wilmots "afraid".

Origi started twice and made three substitute appearances during the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil earlier this summer and, despite his age (19) he managed to return commendable statistics such as an 80% passing accuracy, completed ten successful dribbles, produced six goal-scoring opportunities and scored one goal from 11 shots.

According to Wilmots, who was speaking in L'Equipe, a move to Liverpool could have stagnated the player's career: "I was afraid that at a big club he would not play as much. There [at Lille] he may develop quietly."

Reds chief Brendan Rodgers has a number of players capable of playing the striker's role including Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge, while Raheem Sterling and even Adam Lallana are both adept on the left - two of the areas on the pitch where Origi produces his best work. Competition for places at Anfield would no doubt be fierce.

Liverpool bought Origi for £10 million, however, he was loaned back to Lille to spend the first of his five contracted years under the watch of Rodgers and Liverpool.

Wilmots continued: "When he came into the national team, no one knew him. But I had great feedback on his mentality and his determination for someone of 19-years-old, when he moved up front.

"For him, the World Cup changed his situation. But I intend to keep his feet on the ground."

Origi, of course, is developing nicely at Lille where he has already made three starts and one substitute appearance whilst returning a hat-trick of key passes (one of which became a direct assist), seven successful dribbles and has scored twice from just five shots on goal.

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