Liverpool’s Premier League super-sub Divock Origi will miss out on a place in Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, former Rode Duivel star Philippe Albert has told Sud Presse.
Handed his first call-up since October 2020 after a couple of beautifully taken efforts against Preston North End and West Ham United respectively, Origi had a point to prove in the November internationals.
But, after being hauled off 59 minutes into an ineffective display against Wales, Albert can’t help but wonder whether the ship has sailed for a man who hasn’t scored a single goal in Belgium colours for seven years.
“Barring a cascade of injuries, Origi will be passed over for Qatar,” the Newcastle cult hero predicted.
“Apart from a nice long-range shot in the first half, we can’t say he has scored any points (in the 1-1 draw with Wales).
“It’s actually more of the opposite.”
Will Liverpool ace Origi miss out on Belgium World Cup squad?
However, Albert does believe there may be a place in Martinez’s 23-man roster for Christian Benteke, who is playing and scoring again at Crystal Palace after a couple of harrowing seasons at Selhurst Park.
“The big winner of this international break is Benteke,” Albert says. “The fight for the post of second-choice attacker behind Lukaku has been revived.
“Practically assured of this status a few weeks ago, (Michy) Batshuayi may have more to worry about than he thinks.”
Now plying his trade with Besiktas in Turkey, Batshuayi is hardly setting the world alight in his new surroundings, scoring just four times in 12 games so far. It may, therefore, turn into a two-horse race between Origi and Batshuayi for a place in Martinez’s plans.
Batshuayi is almost guaranteed regular game time at Besiktas but, unfortunately for Origi, the same can’t be said for him at Anfield.