Liverpool’s Belgian starlet Divock Origi has endeared himself further to the Reds faithful by revealing how he swatted aside interest from the big guns before securing an Anfield move in 2014.
Divock Origi’s exploits over the past year have been noteworthy. Apart from ably deputizing in Daniel Sturridge’s absence, Origi’s passion and ability have gone a long way in appealing to the supporters. His recent interview however will probably have boosted his status even further, as the Belgian revealed that he rejected a Manchester United move early on in his career.
The 21-year-old was quoted as saying to the Mirror,”I started with the national team at under-16s. It was a very good year for me, a lot of scouts were coming to my dad. I heard Manchester United wanted to sign me, some Italian clubs and German clubs.”
Origi instead opted for Lille, citing the growth and success of fellow countryman Eden Hazard as a major motivation factor behind his move to Ligue 1. After a breakthrough season with Lille, Origi made a name for himself in the 2014 World Cup scoring a crucial winning goal for Belgium against Russia in the group stage.
Having enjoyed an impressive tournament the forward was approached by German giants Bayern Munich but instead he went through with a move to Liverpool.
Recalling the summer the youngster said, “There were offers from everywhere. Bayern were interested, all these clubs. But I came to Liverpool, I saw the facilities, I took some time out of my vacation to visit Melwood and speak with (then manager) Brendan Rodgers.”
“When I came in, everyone knew my name, they knew who I was and they were looking at a video of me even from the under-15s. They knew about my qualities and when I saw the values of the club – passing, pressing, fast players – I was like: ‘this is the place I want to go,” he said.
Origi’s growing popularity at Anfield
Origi was loaned back to Lille for a season, where he endured a torrid spell of form with the French side. He returned to Anfield a year later lacking the confidence that earned him the move to Anfield in the first place.
However the arrival of Jurgen Klopp at the club coupled by injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings saw the Belgian push himself up the pecking order in attack, with some superb performances up top for Liverpool.
However an ankle injury suffered during the 4-0 Merseyside Derby demolition of Everton back in April cut short his growth, and the eventual summer arrival of Sadio Mane further extended his spell on the sidelines for the 2016-17 season.
But with injuries to Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge recently, Origi is getting a lot more game time and is once again proving his worth to the supporters with some eye-catching performances.
In 15 appearances this campaign, the majority of which came as a substitute, the striker has scored 5 goals to his name adding to his tally of 10 goals and three assists from last season for the Reds. Furthermore, the absence of Mane in January means the Belgian can expect more starts. Should he continue his level of performances, he could fast become an indispensable figure in the Liverpool line-up.