Facing the might of Paris Saint-Germain last night, Lille and Liverpool loanee Divock Origi could have crumbled under the pressure of the Ligue 1 giants. However, they may not have won, but the performance in the 1-1 draw at the Stade Pierre Mauroy was much improved. Although Origi didn’t find the back of the net, he did show more desire than he had this season, but there is still a long way to go for the Belgium international.
After the game, Origi was interviewed by local newspaper La Voix du Nord and the 19-year-old made it clear he was tired of the constant gossip.
"I always said that I would stay in Lille until the end of the season and for me it's like that. It's normal that people talk, say things that are not true. It comes mostly from England and I must not pay attention. I need to stay focused. I know what I want. And there's no problem."
Origi finished the game with four shots, but only one on target. That came in the opening minute of the game when the forward danced into the box before firing his left-foot shot towards Salvatore Sirigu. The Italian goalkeeper pushed the ball only as far as Marvin Martin, Sirigu reacted well to save the second shot, before watching Florent Balmont’s effort hit the crossbar.
That would have been a dream start for the home side, but the inability to put the ball in the back of the net sums up their season so far. David Rozehnal’s header from a Sebastien Corchia corner levelled the scores after Edinson Cavani had converted Ezequiel Lavezzi’s cross and that’s how the game ended.
Only captain Rio Mavuba and Rozehnal saw more of the ball than Origi, but it was still an average performance from the Belgian. He needs to learn to play as part of the team, rather than an individual. Too often he resorts to shots from outside the box, where patience and being a little unselfish would give Lille a better chance at creating opportunities.
Origi needs to use the next five months in France to develop his game before moving to Liverpool and if the teenager wants to forget about the gossip, he needs to do the talking on the pitch.