Jack Hallows explains why Divock Origi deserves to get a run in the starting lineup after his impressive cameo against Sunderland.
With Daniel Sturridge nursing a calf strain, it was Divock Origi that Jurgen Klopp turned to against Sunderland to break the deadlock following injury to Philippe Coutinho. The Belgian is no mug – he has 13 Liverpool goals and scored 10 in 30 last season – and he proved it once again as he unlocked a stubborn Sunderland defence with a lovely strike into the far corner. There’s no confirmation that Sturridge will even be fit for the trip to Bournemouth but even if he is, it’s time for Origi to start.
The Belgian has been in good form of late and looks to have put a slow injury-ridden start to the season behind him. He’s also proven this season that if he gets more than a 5-10 minute cameo at the end of games he scores goals – he has 3 goals this season and all three of those came in games that he featured in during the first half. Even against Spurs, when he was unable to get on the score sheet, the overwhelming feeling was that he was just unlucky and had played just as well, if not better than Daniel Sturridge who netted twice.
Origi may still not yet provide the pinpoint finishing that Sturridge does, but he’s a very reliable player. He offers pace, power, an understanding of the pressing game Klopp desires and the ability to score with either foot and his head. He proved last season just how deadly he can be when he’s able to string a number of games together – he scored against opponents such as Dortmund, Everton, Stoke and Southampton – and he now fully deserves his chance. He also offers balance in the front three.
Firmino has shown he is capable of playing the Coutinho role – he did it at Leicester perfectly – and playing Origi, who is someone that understands Klopp’s pressing and high-pressure game and likes to be involved means the dynamic doesn’t change huge amounts. In fact, the fluent movement of Liverpool’s front three would mean Firmino wouldn’t exactly be stranded out wide on the left the whole time anyway.
Of course, I would completely understand why Klopp would start Sturridge over Origi if he chooses to do so. The Englishman is our best finisher, a feared striker with a reputation in the Premier League and on his day can provide just as much pace and threat up front. However, Origi is the future for this club and any chance he can be given to improve his game and get a run of matches – especially with the fixture list we have upcoming – would be vital for his development.