Liverpool loanee, Divock Origi, came off the bench for Lille last Sunday and scored the third goal in the club’s 3-1 vital derby win against RC Lens. However, as the club takes on Toulouse on Saturday night, the goal won’t be enough for the Belgian striker to earn a place in the starting line-up.
Part of the reason behind Origi going over 1200 minutes without a Ligue 1 goal this season was Lille’s dependence on the young striker for the majority of the first-half of the season.
He scored three goals after just six games, but would then go from September to March without a Ligue 1 effort.
Although he wanted the pressure of being Lille’s main striker, the 19-year-old wasn’t quite ready for the task. His performances at the end of last season and at the World Cup for Belgium had perhaps catapulted him into the spotlight too early, with a summer move to Liverpool raising expectation levels further.
The January arrival of Sofiane Boufal, plus the return from injury of Rony Lopes, has given Lille more options in the final third and has allowed coach René Girard to bench Origi from time to time, offering the striker time to breathe, and now it is starting to pay off.
When he scored his hat-trick against Rennes, it was only his fourth start after the winter break, and he has only played from the start in three of the six games following the 3-0 win over the Breton side.
It shows that Girard still has ultimate faith in the forward, but is now able to pick and choose which games Origi will feature heavily in. Nolan Roux is the more experienced striker, and will run himself into the ground for the length of the game, creating space for Boufal and Lopes to collect the ball and create opportunities.
What we saw against Lens was Origi coming into the game with the opposition looking tired and using his raw pace and power to burst into the box and finish off a trademark counter-attack.
Girard will hope to do the same on Saturday evening. Origi isn’t expected to start, but you can guarantee he will feature off the bench. He has already surpassed the five goals he scored last season, now sitting on eight, and will be hungry to make it to double figures before the campaign comes to a close.
Toulouse: Ahamada – Ninkov, Yago, Spajic, Moubandje – Akpa Akpro, Bodiger, Didot – Trejo, Ben Yedder, Braithwaite
Lille: Enyeama – Pavard, Rozehnal, Basa, Sidibe – Mavuba, Balmont, Gueye – Lopes – Boufal, Roux