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‘Not been seen’: Exit-bound star not his real self at Liverpool, says pundit

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Vital Borkelmans has told Gazzetta dello Sport that Divock Origi will be a great signing for AC Milan, ahead of leaving Liverpool, as the Belgian has not had the opportunities to be his real self at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed, via BBC Sport, that the striker will leave the Reds once his contract ends on June 30. Origi failed to reach the minimum threshold of games played this season to trigger a one year extension clause in his existing £60k-a-week deal, and has decided to depart for pastures new.

Liverpool signed Origi from LOSC Lille in 2014, but did not see the Belgian feature on Merseyside for another year. The £10m arrival has since gone on to play 175 games for 41 goals and 18 assists. But he only featured 18 times this term in all competitions, starting just five games, and scored six times.

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Origi is likely to rock up at AC Milan for next season, with the forward and Serie A champions in talks ahead of leaving Liverpool. The Athletic note the 27-year-old has already agreed personal terms with the Rossoneri. Calciomercato also report he has rejected Newcastle United to move to the San Siro.

Real Origi ‘not been seen’ in years ahead of leaving Liverpool for AC Milan, Borkelmans feels

Borkelmans feels leaving Liverpool for AC Milan could allow Origi to show his true self again after his reserve role at Anfield. The forward worked with the coach with the Belgian national side from 2014 to 2016 when Borkelmans acted as Marc Wilmot’s assistant, under whom Origi was a regular player.

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Roberto Martinez’s appointment to the Belgian hot seat after Euro 2016 coincided with Origi falling out of favour internationally. He has made just 10 of his 32 Red Devils caps under the Spaniard over the last six years. Origi also scored the last of his three international goals under Wilmot in 2014.

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Now, Borkelmans is convinced Origi will be a good signing for AC Milan ahead of leaving Liverpool as a free agent. And should he get the games at the San Siro, he is convinced Origi will prove his worth.

“Absolutely, yes,” Borkelmans said. “You find me such an affordable tip for cost, age [and] potential. And then he doesn’t feel the pressure, he has always scored important goals. When he is well, he is decisive. If Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019, the credit goes to him, too.

“[He will offer AC Milan] physical, strength and speed. When I first saw him play, he was a winger in Lille, and I think that’s his role. In the last two years, the real Origi has not been seen. But he has always had great mental strength. When he gets one thing in his head, that’s it.”

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