Divock Origi has come from nowhere in 2019 to teach everyone to never write a player off.
The Belgian begun the season as a squad player at best. Liverpool certainly didn’t see much reason to keep him around and very nearly sold him to Wolves.
Origi turned them down, according to the Echo, presumably to fight for his place at Anfield. A tough task for a striker who scored just six goals in 34 games on loan at Wolfsburg last year.
Three months into this season and Origi had clearly made a big mistake. He didn’t feature at all in August, September, or October. In all, Origi only started seven games this season, with another 14 appearances from the bench.
His match-winner against Newcastle United was only goal number three for the season. It was a key strike, however, keeping the title race alive. Something else important occurred: Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah were both carrying injuries; Origi would have to start against Barcelona.
At this point, we wrote an article arguing that Origi would have an important role to play in the chase for trophies. It was more along the lines of ‘he can offer rest for the forwards while keeping the style the same’ than ‘he’ll knock out Barcelona and seal the Champions League in the final’, however.
In all, Origi has gone from a player that Liverpool happy to sell to a club legend over the course of 2019. It’s a lesson in the use of players, even those without a future at the club.
No, Origi isn’t an elite level player. He’s effective, though. Origi is quick, strong, and has proven that he’s clinical: he only had three shots in Europe this season. There’s a reason Liverpool paid £10m for him, after all.
He was written off, completely, by everyone this season and yet his impact was one of the biggest in Liverpool’s history. If a player is at the club and has qualities, you can find a use for them. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t played a part yet, and it doesn’t matter if they look like a lost cause.
They, like Origi has shown, are a weapon in the manager’s arsenal and can be used decisively.
His abilities were used to perfection and he is undoubtedly the surprise of Liverpool’s season. One of the greatest surprises the club has ever seen.