Liverpool attacker Divock Origi is reportedly being lined up for a surprise January transfer by cross-town rivals Everton.
According to a report from Turkish outlet Aksam, Liverpool striker and Belgian international Divock Origi has emerged as a shock January transfer target for Merseyside rivals Everton.
The 23-year-old centre-forward joined Liverpool for £10 million from Lille in the summer of 2014, but he was immediately loaned back to the French club for the following campaign before moving to Anfield in 2015.
Origi made 77 appearances over the next couple of years for the Merseysiders, scoring 21 goals and assisting 7 more in the process. He was then shipped out on loan to Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg for the 2017-18 campaign. The 23-year-old had a mediocre campaign in Germany, as he managed to score just seven goals in 36 appearances.
Upon returning, the 25-time capped Belgian international failed to make much of an impression during Liverpool’s pre-season campaign in the summer either. With Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke all ahead of him in the pecking order, Origi has failed to make it into even a single matchday squad for Liverpool in the 2018-19 season.
Origi’s only appearance this term came for Liverpool’s U23 side in Premier League 2 in a 3-0 win against Swansea City, in which he scored and assisted one goal apiece. With his chances at Liverpool unlikely to improve anytime soon, an exit from Anfield in January looks a distinct possibility for the former Lille starlet.
There had been interest in Origi’s services from Borussia Dortmund in the summer transfer window, but the Bundesliga leaders baulked at Liverpool’s £27 million valuation of the player. La Liga powerhouse Valencia too were believed to be in the race for his signing, but no move materialized. And now Liverpool’s bitter rivals Everton have appeared as a surprise potential destination for the 23-year-old.
Toffees’ manager Marco Silva is believed to be unhappy with the returns of first-choice striker Cenk Tosun, who only moved to Goodison Park in January earlier this year from Besiktas. The Turkish striker has managed to score just once in 10 matches this term, which has forced Silva to use Richarlison as a centre-forward.
Manager Silva is understood to be considering letting Tosun leave in January with Besiktas interested, while Oumar Niasse is also likely to leave amid interest from Galatasaray. This would leave Everton with youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the only out-and-out striker in the squad, which has led them to consider signing Origi.
The 23-year-old will be entering the final year of his contract with Liverpool at the end of the season, which could see his transfer value decrease. It is clear that he is not a part of the plans for manager Jurgen Klopp and as a result, Liverpool would be better off cashing in on him in January.
Would they be willing to sell him to Everton though? Kevin Sheedy (1982), Peter Beardsley (1991) and Gary Ablett (1992) are some of the most famous names to have made the switch to Goodison Park from Anfield in the past. It remains to be seen if Origi too joins that elusive list in the winter transfer window.