Liverpool want Ismaila Sarr, according to reports, and that could hand a lifeline to Divock Origi. The Belgian has struggled this season.
The Liverpool Echo says that Sarr is on Liverpool’s list this summer. Whether they’ll bid for him or not is still uncertain – they may not have the money available, after all.
Regardless, Sarr is a player they’re interested in. And that’s potentially good news for Divock Origi.
Left and right
If Liverpool had got their wish, Timo Werner would be wearing Red next season. Instead, he’s moved to Chelsea and the Reds are looking at other options.
That move would have been disastrous for Origi and effectively ended his Anfield career. Werner plays the exact same position as Origi, after all, with both able to lead the line or cut in from the left.
While Origi is a striker, he relies on his ability to cover Sadio Mane for a lot of his gametime. Of his eight starts in the League and Champions League this season, five came from the left wing with one three as a central striker (per Whoscored).
Thus if Liverpool brought in Werner or a similar player, Origi would be third-fiddle in both his positions.
It wouldn’t even take just Werner. If Liverpool signed a left-winger, that’s potentially over half his starts gone. It’s difficult to see how he carries on at Anfield like that.
Sarr, however, is different. He can play centre-forward but he’s predominantly a right-sided forward. Again per Whoscored, Sarr didn’t start from the left once this season.
That hands Origi a lifeline. We can’t imagine Liverpool bring in more than one forward and if that player is Sarr, Origi retains his place.
Should Sarr arrive, we have to imagine the long-term goal is for him to learn the left-wing position, too. It would allow him to be perfect cover and increase his chances of finding a place.
He couldn’t do that immediately, though. Initially, Liverpool would have to retain Origi to cover the other flank while Sarr learns – there’s no guarantee he can do it, after all.
But it does give Origi a short-term window to prove he can still play a part for Liverpool. His four Premier Leauge goals – over half of which came in 2019 – were a big disappointment this season. Enough that we think the Reds could replace him.
If that player is Sarr, though, it surely buys Origi another year.