Divock Origi got a shock start against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. An aggressive display proved a lot of people wrong.
We thought Divock Origi was finished as a Liverpool player. Now, to be fair, there were plenty of good reasons for that belief.
Origi rarely featured last season, through both injury and not being picked. And when he did play, the Belgian didn’t offer much. He just no longer seemed like a fit with Liverpool.
That led into a summer where, per the Athletic, Liverpool thought Origi would leave. They expected offers for the 26-year-old, only for those offers to never arrive.
Liverpool, stuck with Origi, then didn’t name in in matchday squads to start the season. That’s despite little suggestion that he was injured. It appeared the one-time hero just wouldn’t play.
And then, out of nowhere, Origi is starting at Anfield against AC Milan. Then came another shock – he was really good.
Origi vs Milan
Origi didn’t score against Milan but he more than played his part. The first-half, in particular, showed off his quality.
He was a constant runner, using his speed and strength to offer a constant out-ball as Liverpool looked to get forward. Origi worked the channels, pulled the Milan defenders about, and kept pushing forward.
Origi pressed like mad, too. He ended up winning three tackles as Milan’s defenders struggled to avoid him. Only Fabinho (6) and Diogo Jota (4) topped that figure for Liverpool.
The 26-year-old looked like a real option for Liverpool, then. The Reds were aggressive and dangerous with Origi up front, enough so that Milan couldn’t handle them at times.
A lot of the problems with Origi haven’t necessarily been his lack of goals but that Liverpool don’t provide the same all-around threat and flow with him in the side. That wasn’t the case against Milan.
Origi proved he’s now a genuine option, again. We’ll certainly see him more often this season. Providing that injury isn’t too serious, of course.