Lille travel south to Marseille on Sunday afternoon trying to end the year on a high, after what has been a disappointing season for Les Dogues thus far. Sunday’s game will be difficult and they will need to play well to hit OM on the counter. There is also a chance that this could be Liverpool loanee Divock Origi’s last game for the northern club.
After the 19-year-old forward was booed by his own fans in the 3-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in the Europa League, there were also some jeers when he missed a good chance to break his drought against Toulouse. The team was winning at the time, so they were not as strong, but still audible to the crowd and the player.
As ridiculous as it is to turn against a 19-year-old player, the small minority of Lille fans are making their displeasure known due to Origi’s pending return to Liverpool and his lack of goals. His performances have been under a microscope ever since he agreed to join the Premier League club, and although he is not playing any worse than the rest of the team, the transfer fee and the high-profile move has put him under more pressure.
His five goals last season and three goals this campaign are completely normal for a striker this age, especially in Ligue 1. Current top scorer Alexandre Lacazette hadn’t scored more when he was the same age, neither had Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. You have to go back to Thierry Henry and Djibril Cisse to find young talents that scored more than five goals in a season before they were 20 years old.
Origi’s last league goal for Lille came in September, and the booing will likely continue for as long as he fails to find the net. Although Liverpool denied the mid-week rumours that the player would return in January for a €6 million fee, it may not be the worst decision from all three parties. Origi could take himself out of the Lille spotlight, only if he wasn’t thrown straight into the starting spot at Anfield.
Lille could then use the money to find a replacement and reinforcements for the team. It would be a shame for René Girard to lose a player of Origi’s potential. Lille were already in the hunt for a new striker to partner Origi, take the pressure off his shoulders and hopefully see him blossom again, but may it’s time to cut their losses and move on.
January will be filled with rumours regarding his future, until either he moves or the transfer window shuts, but it will be interesting to see his body language on Sunday, whether he says au revoir or à la prochaine.