Is Divock Origi better than he looks? A former coach believes no one actually knows how good the Liverpool star is.

Divock Origi’s coach for Belgium’s Under 19s, Gert Verheyen, had some interesting quotes this week. He believes we don’t actually know how good the player is.

“We just don’t know how good he is today,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “In his youth, Divock was a class act.

“But by staying with Liverpool and playing little, he hasn’t developed further.”

That’s certainly a notable take. Origi really doesn’t play very often for Liverpool and his development likely has stalled.

But if that is the case, he surely wouldn’t be a very good player? After all, Origi would largely be the same player he was as a teenager if his development stalled dramatically.

We’re not sure that’s the case, though. Instead, we think Origi has developed considerably – we just don’t see it very often.

Divock Origi is better than you think

Origi is in a bizarre position, of course. He’s a club legend who contributed heavily to a European cup, scoring important goals in both the semi-final and final.

He’s also clearly good enough to play for Liverpool as the club keeps him around. At the same time, we barely see Origi and Jurgen Klopp doesn’t trust him very often.

He only played 182 Premier League minutes last season. Before that it was 706 in 19/20 and 368 in 18/19. These are tiny numbers and it makes it hard to judge Origi.

But while Liverpool don’t trust him to play very often, they clearly rate him. Pep Lijnders called him one of the world’s best finishers the other week – and that’s a quote.

We think the only reason Origi doesn’t play much is because he doesn’t fit Liverpool’s style, though. As a player, he’s actually quite fantastic.

For instance, tally up those minutes we mentioned and you get the equivalent of 14 Premier League games. Over those minutes, Origi scored seven goals, giving him a record of one in two.

As we wrote here, that’s brilliant as he often scores them in weak lineups. Origi is clearly a huge talent and has the rare ability to strike out of nowhere. He’s not someone who needs momentum or even much love – Origi is an ice-cold finisher.

But his sporadic appearances mean this flies under the radar. His record doesn’t feel like one in two, it feels like three goals in a year.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Third Round
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

On the one hand, that’s why Liverpool like having him. They can keep their usual forwards in every week and just have Origi sitting on the bench as a last resort. Few players could actually be relied on to step up and score without any momentum but the Belgian can.

But it also means we don’t get to see how good Origi really is. We know he’s brilliant – that’s as much as we get – and if he played for someone else, we’d likely see it more often.

Liverpool are a little fortunate that he’s content in his role, in truth. While some may want to see him more, the Reds have a very talented finisher in reserve. If Origi wanted more, they wouldn’t have that option.

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