This was always going to be a big season for Belgian striker Divock Origi. Liverpool paid €12 million for the striker from French side Lille OSC, with part of the deal being that Origi returned to France to spend the season on loan at Lille.
Origi’s teammate Salomon Kalou left for Hertha BSC in the summer, and it has put pressure on the Belgian to become the No. 1 striker at the club. It’s a pressure that the young player welcomed and even asked coach Rene Girard to put on his shoulders.
It hasn’t quite happened for Origi this season. His late return after the World Cup and the deal with Liverpool has stunted his pre-season and his head doesn’t quite look to be in the right place.
He has only started three games out of seven so far. He opened the season with a poor performance against Metz, the next game against Caen didn’t get much better, and he was very lucky to win the penalty that gave him his first goal of the season.
Against Nantes, in the first 45 minutes he was almost a ghost before a quick start to the second half saw him score just after the break, but the performance overall was lacking the qualities that saw him excel last season and at the World Cup for Belgium.
Lille’s problems don’t all fall at Origi’s feet, though - Girard has yet to find his ideal combination of strikers. Nolan Roux is injured this weekend and Origi is set to be brought back to partner new signing Michael Frey in the 4-3-1-2, and the pressure then falls on the young striker’s shoulders to provide Lille with goals.
On Saturday they take on Bastia at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, as they look to bounce back from the 1-0 away defeat to Nice. They never looked like scoring during that match.
Lille have only scored six goals in seven games, which is just not good enough for a side who want to finish in the top three.
Luckily the defence has only conceded twice this season, that helps take the pressure off a little, but the bottom line is that Lille need goals and both Liverpool and Lille fans are looking to Origi to provide that killer touch.