Rhian Brewster can’t return soon enough after Liverpool struggled against Arsenal. The Reds paid the price for out of form forwards.
The trouble with Divock Origi
Origi is not playing well. We know he can put in periods of good form and we know he can score important games against top teams. But he’s certainly not doing either right now.
The Belgian has scored five goals this season but those came in just three games. You can add two further games to that if you include his duo of assists this campaign but it still comes to a poor grand total of five games where Origi has produced a goal.
Only counting games in which he’s played at least five minutes, Origi hasn’t scored or assisted for 12 games. That jumps to 16 if you’re specifically looking for goals.
So, simply put, Origi isn’t producing for Liverpool as either a starter or a substitute. And that created a real problem on Wednesday.
Struggling at the Emirates
Liverpool struggled badly in front of goal against Arsenal. They took the lead through a well-worked Sadio Mane goal but that proved to be the extent of their attacking product.
The game finished 2-1 to Arsenal, of course, despite the Gunners having just three shots. Liverpool, in contrast, had 24.
Only eight of those found the target, though. The Reds just couldn’t make things happen going forward, mainly because the front-three were off form. Although, that’s harsh on Mane who managed a goal and four key passes.
Roberto Firmino didn’t manage a shot, however. Mohamed Salah didn’t look capable of scoring.
The star trio are allowed off days, though. But Liverpool need other forwards to step up when these three play poorly. One look at the bench shows the problem.
Origi was the only forward with any experience on the bench. He came on for seven minutes, had zero shots, attempted just one pass – and failed to complete it.
He’s woefully out of form, which hurts the team badly when they need him. And this is why Brewster can’t return soon enough.
Now, Brewster is in form. The 20-year-old is on loan with Swansea City and scoring goals in what is his first extended taste of senior football.
He’s got nine goals in 18 Championship games since January, with six coming in his last nine appearances. Brewster is, quite undoubtedly, a player in form.
And that’s fantastic news for next season. Liverpool desperately need an alternative goalscorer on the bench, if only to challenge Origi and create competition.
But if Brewster can keep this form going into next season, he’ll be exactly the kind of player Liverpool need for games like Wednesday. A goalscorer, someone who can find a goal and convert chances.
He can’t return quickly enough.