Liverpool will be looking to go 19 points clear at the Premier League summit on Wednesday night when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United – and Divock Origi should be given the nod in the absence of Sadio Mane.
Mane, 27, has been confirmed as unavailable for the Reds’ midweek trip to the capital after sustaining a hamstring injury against Wolves last Thursday. The Senegalese ace is expected to miss both the West Ham visit as well as the weekend’s clash against Southampton at Anfield – he is expected to be fit after the Premier League’s inaugural winter break that will commence from February 2-15.
One player who has proven an adequate replacement on that left-forward role is none other than Liverpool’s Champions League-winning hero Origi. The 27-year-old has featured in 30 appearances under Jurgen Klopp this season but has started just three league matches this season.
The Belgium international has just five goals for the European champions this campaign but has three to his name in the three matches he has started for Liverpool. Origi hasn’t been named in Klopp’s senior XI in the league since the Reds’ 5-2 victory over Everton in December 2019 – he scored twice that evening.
Origi despite being a peripheral figure during his six-year Anfield tenure has emerged as cult hero as well as a club-legend following his exploits last season that saw the former Genk forward earn legendary status amongst the Reds’ supporters.
His Liverpool journey last season was nothing shy of miraculous following important goals against Everton, Newcastle, Barcelona before his fairytale of a campaign culminated in the winning goal to claim the club’s sixth European triumph in Madrid back in June.
The former Lille striker still remains a doubt, however, in terms of being a viable long-term attacking option for the club. Origi, alongside with several others of Liverpool’s senior players, were rather lacklustre and uninspiring during the European champions’ 2-2 stalemate against Shrewsbury Town at the weekend.
Takumi Minamino has also been touted as an option to ease the attacking burden left by Mane. The Japan international is a unique, creative and rather appositional player. His slender and technical ability would allow the Reds to use Minamino as a bounce player to support both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino during attacking build-up.
However, Origi is the more proven option giving his influence when called upon. Klopp has seen his faith repaid by the Belgian in the past and given his stature in Liverpool’s illustrious history he is more than worthy of some extra minutes.