After missing the early part of the New Year, Liverpool loanee Divock Origi made his return to the Lille starting line-up on Tuesday night. The home side lost 1-0 to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final of the Coupe de la Ligue, but it was the nature of Origi's poor performance that will be a worry.
There was constant speculation linking the Belgian forward with an early move back to Liverpool in January, but an injury to Michael Frey and Lille's inability to sign a replacement meant Origi was never going to be released from his loan agreement before the end of the season.
Although their rating system leaves a lot to be desired at times, the paper edition on Wednesday’s L'Equipe awarded Origi with a 4/10 rating. Just one ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was terrible.
Origi played beside Kevin Koubemba in René Girard's 4-3-1-2, but at times it looked more like a line of four and a line of five. Lille were never going to see a lot of the ball, so the forwards pulled wide to provide protection.
Despite going behind to a 27th-minute strike from Brazilian Maxwell, PSG failed to really pick apart the Lille defence, but when the northern club got their foot on the ball, they failed to trouble the PSG defence.
The 19-year-old only touched the ball 24 times, less than his attacking partner and nearly half as much as Ibrahimovic. Even in those few touches, he failed to trouble the Parisians.
When he got the ball, he couldn’t use his pace to get past Marquinhos at right-back. He looked off the pace and clumsy when trying to cut inside to create through the middle and all too often he failed to link up with any of his teammates.
The hope when the window closed was that Origi would be able to concentrate on the last few months of his time at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, but that looks a long way away.
Origi hasn’t scored in the league since September. If Les Dogues want to finish any higher than 13th in Ligue 1, they need to hope that Origi shakes off these cobwebs and gets back to the level which attracted Liverpool’s attention last summer.