Jamie Carragher has claimed that Divock Origi wasn’t good enough to start games for Liverpool last season.
Speaking to The Overlap alongside Gary Neville, Carragher said that he tore his hair out whenever Jurgen Klopp started the Belgian. However, the pundit did question whether Liverpool had replaced his impact off the bench.
“You lost Mane, Minamino and Origi, I always thought Origi was something in the season,” mused Neville.
“He was a sub, he couldn’t start a game. You’d tear your hair out with him starting a game,” replied Carragher. “But coming off the bench he was something special. Have Liverpool got someone to replace that? I’m not sure.”
The kind of impact you can’t teach
All points here are valid from both pundits. It’s true that Origi would often frustrate when asked to start games. The £10m man never seemed to have the same threat about him when playing from the beginning.
But coming off the bench, there was no-one quite like him. At times it felt as though the whole Liverpool team would get a lift when seeing Origi joining them with 15 or 20 minutes to go.
With the forward leaving for AC Milan this summer, Liverpool don’t have a like-for-like swap for that.
It’s the kind of thing that you can’t really buy, or teach, in football anyway. A player like Fabio Carvalho may be more gifted than Origi and may well have a better all-round impact.
But can he swing a game like the Belgium international in the dying moments time and time again? The answer is probably not, and you can’t really expect him, or anyone else, to do so on a consistent basis.
Searching for the next Divock Origi
The closest thing Liverpool may now find to a new Divock Origi is perhaps Roberto Firmino.
Firmino’s role looks likely to be reduced this season, and he may have to get used to coming off the bench.
The Brazilian has that special ability to alter the structure of the Liverpool team without doing anything in particular, though. Maybe that can lend itself to providing some more ‘Origi moments.’
Time will tell on this one, but the most likely scenario is that we don’t see another like Origi. In many ways he was the most curious of footballers. Despite his shortcomings, his legend will live on forever at Liverpool.
As the famous banner of course says, ‘Football without Origi is nothing.’ Liverpool will hope that that doesn’t prove prophetic to their season.