Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has backed international teammate Divock Origi to shine at Anfield in the upcoming season.
In an interview with Liverpool Echo, Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet fielded some questions about his own future, fellow goalkeeper Loris Karius’ injury and the form of Divock Origi. The former Sunderland man tipped his Belgian international teammate to shine in his second season with the Reds, provided the striker stays fit through the season.
“If he can stay injury free then I’d expect him to kick on a level this season,” Mignolet told Liverpool Echo. “Without the injuries last season he would have scored more than 10. If he can stay fit and keeps working as hard as he is in the moment then he will score more for us.”
Divock Origi’s debut season with Liverpool was plagued with injuries as the Belgian was restricted to just 16 league appearances. The 21-year-old managed to score 10 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions for the club, but there is a feeling among the fans, staff and fellow players that the striker would have contributed more had it not been for the injuries he suffered (stats via WhoScored).
Origi has started strongly in pre-season this time around. The 21-year-old looked fresh and hungry as he ran the AC Milan defence ragged with his skills before slotting the ball into the net neatly in a 2-0 win over the Rossoneri.
Mignolet also had words of praise for the striker after the game. The Reds’ keeper said: “He came on and made a big difference and that’s what you want to see from him. Let’s hope he keeps progressing and evolving as a player.”
Divock Origi is most likely to compete with two other strikers in the squad in the coming season — Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge — as Mario Balotelli prepares to depart from the club, while Christian Benteke is also not in the plans of the Liverpool manager. Jurgen Klopp will have three strikers to choose from as it looks more and more likely that Divock Origi will play a pivotal role in the German’s plans at Anfield, especially after impressing the manager during pre-season.