Divock Origi has got to start against KRC Genk in a final attempt to hold onto his position.
Origi’s place is a strange one, of course. He’s not ever considered first-choice, nor does anyone believe he should be. Despite that, he’s firmly at the front of the line as backup.
It creates a strange scenario where Origi is on the brink of things but not actually pressuring any first-team players. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah don’t exactly fear for their places.
And yet Origi has proven himself to be very useful. His winner against Newcastle United, his brace against Barcelona and his Champions League final goals were huge – few players are capable of that.
But he’s been poor this season. The new contract in the summer was supposed to push him further but, if anything, he’s gone backwards.
Origi scored against Norwich to kick the season off but hasn’t really threatened since. And after the Manchester United game, he’s in a difficult position.
Adam Lallana, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all played well and it may move Origi down the pecking order. His position as the first-choice backup is under threat.
But he deserves a chance to correct that. Salah’s injury means there will likely still be a free spot in the team and should get the chance to hold onto his spot.
Genk aren’t thriving and it’s the kind of game Origi should do well in. If he can’t perform against them, then it’s time someone else gets a chance.
Liverpool have a tough string of fixtures coming up after Genk. Tottenham Hotspur at home, Aston Villa away, then Manchester City at home.
They will need their prominent players to be performing. If Origi can’t do that, then they can’t risk him playing a big role. It’s time to show that he can still deliver under pressure.