Liverpool fans watching Divock Origi’s performance against Everton last night, may have been left scratching their head as to why they spent £10 million on the Belgian forward this summer. He is due to spend the rest of the season on loan at Lille, rumours had surfaced that Liverpool might attempt to bring him back in January, but Lille has already ruled out Origi’s departure.
However, the way Lille are playing this season, and the players Origi has to look to for experience and guidance, staying in Northern France until June could end up setting back his development rather than making him a well-rounded forward.
Against Everton, Origi failed to make any positive impact on the game, but it is far from the fault of the 19-year-old attacker. The belief amongst the Lille fans is that this is one of the worst sides they have fielded for the best part of eight years.
Losing Salomon Kalou, although he clearly had his flaws, took away intelligence and a goal scoring instinct from the Lille attack. The Ivorian often made runs down the channels, and at times he would run the ball into a dead end, but he still asked questions of the defence.
He wasn’t quite a team player and lacked an understanding on how to link up with his teammates. What Kalou did add was a distraction that would help Origi find space.
Now, beside the likes of Michael Frey, Ryan Mendes, and Nolan Roux, the onus is on Origi to get the ball and generate chances. Frey has looked very poor since his move from Young Boys of Berne this summer, and he is adding nothing of any note in the attack.
Last season, Origi was the only player in France aged under-21 to score five goals in Ligue 1. This season he has already scored three times, so there are some signs of development, it's just unclear how beneficial this loan will now be for the player.
When players have ability and are looking to develop their game, you need to be surrounded by players that are going to inspire and encourage you. This season, Lille are lacking anyone of note to help Origi take his game to the next level.
He may not be able to walk straight into the Liverpool first-team, but training beside players of a much better quality would be a much better experience than what he is about to endure at Lille this season.
It would be a disaster for Lille if they were to lose Origi in January, but the player is still trying to develop, he is not ready to be someone’s biggest hope and savoir.