Saturday is set to be an emotional day around Ligue 1. It is the final day of the season, players are playing their last games for clubs and Bordeaux will open their brand new stadium against Montpellier. Over in Metz, Liverpool loanee Divock Origi will play his last game for Lille before returning to England in the summer.
It started with the joy of the World Cup in Brazil, but fell quickly when he failed to score for over 1000 minutes in the league. Things picked up after January and he grabbed a vital goal in the derby against Lens at the start of the month.
There is no doubt that this campaign has been a huge learning curve for the 19-year-old. He wanted the pressure of being Lille’s No. 1 striker, but it was too much, too soon. His performances have improved since Sofiane Boufal joined in January, taking the pressure off a little, and allowing René Girard the luxury of bringing the Belgian off the bench.
Origi has scored five goals since ending his drought in March, and his demeanour, attitude and performances have vastly improved.
Lille travel to Metz with just 14 players, this is due to injuries, suspensions, international duty and the youth and second teams having important games this weekend.
Nolan Roux and Origi will play together for the last time in Girard’s 4-3-1-2 – it is the coach’s last game too – and it would be a nice way to end his loan spell at the club if he could get on the scoresheet one last time.
Even if he doesn’t score, his performances since January have somewhat washed away the scenes of his own fans booing him. He needed this type of season to toughen him up for the Premier League. It’s safe to say Liverpool are receiving a better, more experienced player than the one they bought last summer.