Victor Osimhen could be exactly what Liverpool are looking for. The Nigerian shone against Leicester City in the Europa League this week.
Divock Origi got a shock start against AC Milan on Wednesday. The Belgian hadn’t played at all this season but Jurgen Klopp threw him right in.
That tells us a few things. First and foremost, that Klopp believes Liverpool can win big games with a player like Origi up top. And that hasn’t always been a guarantee.
Liverpool thrive with a False 9 centre-forward who can drag defenders around, creating space for wingers to drive into. They can look a little lost without that and Origi has found himself rarely used as a result.
But he was brilliant at Anfield. Origi pulled Milan defenders about, offered a wonderful out-ball, pressed like crazy, and even registered a wonderful assist.
Then the inevitable happened – Origi got injured. That keeps happening, ruining his momentum and putting his form in question. Was this a one-off display or will he return to his best?
We just don’t know and Origi’s individual ability remains in question. What doesn’t, however, is that the team can operate very well with a traditional centre-forward.
And with that in mind, Victor Osimhen looks perfect for Liverpool.
Victor Osimhen for Liverpool?
Honestly, Osimhen looked like a great upgrade on Origi just from his first 45. He was sprinting in behind the Leicester City defence, causing the problems and – importantly – creating chances for others.
It was a selfless display that while entirely different to what Roberto Firmino offers, offered the same result. Osimhen stretches defences, creates space, and makes things easier for his teammates.
And that’s a great fit for Liverpool. It’s essentially what they asked Origi to do against Milan and it went very well. Osimhen, though, looks stronger than the Belgian and is four years younger.
So we were thinking Osimhen was right for Liverpool even before he scored two excellent goals. The first one saw him drift wide with the ball before laying it off to a teammate.
The 22-year-old then drifted back inside, received the ball again and proceeded to lift it over a defender and then Kasper Schmeichel. Osimhen’s second was a brilliant header to level things at 2-2.
Both goals showed how he’d fit in at Liverpool. One showed movement, the other an ability to get on the end of crosses.
Now, Osimhen wouldn’t be cheap. Napoli paid £63m for him and would surely want more in a sale.
But Liverpool’s current front-three are all pushing 30 and there will be a time soon where the Reds must move on. Spending big on Osimhen – and reinventing themselves in the process – could be exactly what they need.