Liverpool-bound Divock Origi had a big opportunity to showcase his Premier League credentials in Lille’s Europa League clash at Everton on Thursday night, but the £10 million man wasn’t at his best on his Merseyside audition.
The 19-year-old forward showed some clear flashes of his potential at Goodison Park, causing Tony Hibbert a few problems down the left over the course of the 90 minutes, but his end product was found lacking as the French side fell to a 3-0 defeat to their Group H rivals.
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With Lille agreeing to sell Origi this summer following his impressive World Cup showing, on condition that he would be loaned back to the club for the 2014-15 campaign, the Belgian international has been in mixed form since, recording four goals and two assists in 17 games.
Nevertheless, with both Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert enduring slow starts at Anfield, and Daniel Sturridge still out injured, it has been suggested that manager Brendan Rodgers could opt to bring him across the channel as soon as the winter transfer window.
Both teams have since moved to quash such rumours, while Origi himself commented after the Everton defeat that he expects to remain in France for the rest of the season, despite being open to an early arrival.
“I agreed to play for Lille, from then we’ll see,” he told Sky Sports News HQ. “It’s the clubs’ decision.
“I know that I plan finish the year at Lille, but you never know. There could be another decision by the clubs.
“It’s very nice to know that they want me and I’m excited to join Liverpool.”
In the meantime, Rodgers has revealed that the Reds are taking considerable steps to ensure that Origi is prepared for the English top-flight when he does make the move, keeping in regular contact to go over each of his performances.
“I get all of his games downloaded from our recruitment team. We're in contact, which is great, and we're helping him with his game,” he told the club’s official website.
“He's a big talent for someone so young and we're looking at aspects of his game.
“When he plays in France, we get a download of the game here, analyse that and then feedback to him on areas he can improve in the game and what he's doing very, very well, so when he comes into here next summer he's prepared and we know the areas of his game that are his strengths.
“Hopefully in this time, he can improve in other areas.”
Judging by Origi’s showing against the Toffees, he could certainly do with the added help, but no one doubts that the promising teenager has the potential to develop into a genuine star.