Has Divock Origi revealed the reason Liverpool signed Balotelli?

Brendan Rodgers wanted the Belgian to join the club immediately but Origi had to stay at Lille on loan instead.

Liverpool's on loan striker Divock Origi has revealed that manager Brendan Rodgers wanted him to be part of the club's first team from this summer.

The Reds have splased out on the promising teenage forward who impressed for Belgium at the World Cup, but despite spending a fee of up to £10 million on the 19-year-old, part of the deal meant he had to be loaned back to Lille for a further season.

As well as trying to sign Origi, the Reds were after another striker in the form of Loic Remy, but a reported concern over the Frenchman's medical meant that a deal didn't go through - with Remy ultimately ending up at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea.

The Reds then sought to buy striker Mario Balotelli from AC Milan for £16 million, with manager Brendan Rodgers saying he was taking a 'calculated risk' by signing the Italian - who had a reputation for certain off the field antics during his time at Manchester City.

Origi is quoted, saying: “Rodgers wanted to add me to his squad immediately, but Lille wanted me to stay for one more season. I had no choice.

“It’s not that I don’t want to go to Liverpool, I have ambitions.

“But it’s an advantage I’m at Lille for a season where I can continue to develop and play a lot. That’s the positive side of the story.”

There is a question to be asked, though. If Origi has joined immediately, would Rodgers have felt the need to take the risk on Balotelli? Even with the departure of Luis Suarez, Liverpool will have been left with four strikers.

However, given that Fabio Borini's future looked very uncertain during the summer, coupled with the age of Rickie Lambert, there will have been scope to bring in another forward, but there may well have been a different approach to signing another striker.

What wll be interesting is to see if Origi and Balotelli compliment each other playing together for the Reds next season.

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