Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on ‘legend’ Divock Origi after the Belgian’s game-changing cameo in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday.
Divock Origi was once more the man for the occasion in a Merseyside Derby, as the Belgian put in a game-changing cameo appearance when Liverpool found it difficult to break down a resilient Everton side. With the game poised at 0-0, Jurgen Klopp introduced the Belgian, who changed the outcome of the tie.
Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against Everton at Anfield, but much of the credit for that scoreline must go to Origi. The Belgian has found himself on the periphery at the club, but Klopp has always turned towards the striker in the Merseyside derbies,
Origi helped Liverpool in a big way to set up the Andy Robertson opener in the second half and then nodded home the second goal from close range to cap off yet another brilliant derby performance. This could be his final game against Everton in Liverpool colours, with the forward likely to leave on a free transfer.
AC Milan have reportedly reached an agreement with Origi, who may reflect back on his time with Anfield with fond memories and a regret that he couldn’t really work his way into the side more regularly. However, fans will remember him for many moments, including the crucial goals against Barcelona and Tottenham during their UEFA Champions League-winning campaign in 2018/19.
After his Merseyside derby performance, Klopp did not hide his appreciation for the forward, labelling him a ‘legend on and off the pitch’. As quoted by Liverpool Echo, Klopp said: “He is a legend on and off the pitch. He is a fantastic footballer for me, and I know it sounds ridiculous as I don’t line him up often, he is a world-class striker, he is our best finisher, definitely.
“He always was, and everybody would say the same when you see him do these kinds of things in training, then you see the quality of the squad and other players, and it’s really hard I imagine (for him). Other players were not in the squad but in really good shape, I have really hard decisions to make because the boys all want to contribute and are responsible for the situation we are in.”
“Everybody loves Div and rightly so. He was again very decisive. I’m very, very happy for him,” the German tactician added.
Liverpool had the chance to sell Origi in the January window but remained firm in their stance to keep him on board until the end of the season. The Reds will not be able to recoup any transfer fees for the striker, described by Klopp as world-class.