Noel Whelan has backed Divock Origi to stay at Liverpool amid Jurgen Klopp comments over his performance against AC Milan.
During an interview with Football Insider, Noel Whelan has offered his thoughts on Divock Origi and his situation at Liverpool. The former England centre forward has backed the forward to remain at Anfield, insisting he could be an asset for the Merseyside giants.
Whelan’s comments come in the aftermath of Jurgen Klopp’s post-match interview during midweek’s Champions League tie between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. Origi had starred in the game, assisting Mohamed Salah’s goal with a chipped ball over the top of the Rossoneri defence.
Speaking after the game, Klopp stated that he was shocked to see no clubs make any attempt to sign Origi in the summer. It was received as a negative comment on the player’s status at the club and responding to such, Noel Whelan has urged Liverpool to keep hold of the attacker, in his interview with Football Insider.
“He just needs to play regularly. I’m surprised Liverpool offered him away to be honest. That really surprises me. Why did he [Klopp] say that?” said Whelan, who has had 243 Premier League appearances to his name during his playing days with Leeds United, Bristol and Coventry City among few others.
As for Origi, he hasn’t had a great record at Liverpool. Since joining the club way back in 2014, the Belgian has notched up 159 appearances for the Reds, scoring only 39 goals. Last season, he failed to even score a single in the Premier League and the only goal of the campaign came in the Carabao Cup Lincoln City.
“His stats from last season aren’t great but that’s what happens when you are a striker and you aren’t playing regularly. That’s where the problem lies. Getting confidence and sharpness it’s almost impossible if you aren’t playing week in week in out,” Whelan explained, when asked about Origi’s poor numbers at Liverpool.
“I think they should keep hold of him. He’s more of a target and a different option to the other attackers. He can be vital for them at times. They lose a lot of depth with him not there and they need him for when Salah and Mane go to the cup of nations. There wasn’t really talk of Liverpool signing anyone as well. It would have made no sense to sell him,” he added.
Unfortunately, it appears Origi could be well on his way out of Anfield in January, with French club Lens already keeping an eye on the Belgian forward.