While much excitement surrounds the future of Liverpool-bound Divock Origi, the promising forward stresses that Belgium teammate Romelu Lukukau is much further ahead of him in his development.
Signed from Lille this summer for £10 million, Origi has been loaned back to the French club for the 2014-15 season, and has impressed with four goals in 12 appearances since, leaving Reds fans eager for his eventual arrival.
Aged just 19, his impressive World Cup performances in Brazil, where he started ahead of Lukaku during the knockout rounds, lead to him being hailed a future Premier League star, but the Ligue 1 front man has revealed that his Everton counterpart, 21, remains someone who he looks up to for advice.
‘I have great admiration for Lukaku. He is already much further in its development,’ Origi told Het Nieuwsblad.
‘He's definitely someone who I look up. The one time I will play, other times it's his turn. That is the choice of the coach.’
Origi also insists that the competition between the pair at the international level has not affected their friendship, stating: ‘Not at all. I am not hanging out with Romelu less. We did last night, along with Adnan Januzaj and Jason Denayer, and still play on the Playstation.’
Liverpool have been keeping a close watch of Origi over the past few months, with scouts attending several of his games, and, despite claiming that manager Brendan Rodgers wanted him to make an immediate move to Anfield, the striker believes the extra time spent at Lille will serve him well going forward.
‘I take that as a great compliment. I know that he immediately wanted me,’ he said. ‘Liverpool are following me closely. I've already met a scout from the club two or three times after a game. Now and then I also get feedback. Still, it is positive that I still can develop.
‘Coach René Girard gives me confidence. I feel I'm making progress. More and more I play like a man. The past World Cup has certainly accelerated my development.’