Divock Origi was never meant to arrive as Liverpool's striker saviour. He was supposed to be behind Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke on the depth chart, and perhaps even fourth choice to the energetic Danny Ings. Injuries in the autumn pushed him into the limelight, but ideally this was always meant to be a developmental season for the promising 20-year-old Belgian.
With an unlikely hat-trick last night against Southampton, he may have turned those notions of promise and patience on their head, and with Liverpool facing a busy two months it couldn't have come at a better time. With Ings out for the year with an ACL injury and the injury histories of both Sturridge and Benteke, Origi will be called upon. And he just might have the confidence now to deliver.
"I know that I touched the ball and after the game they confirmed it was my goal, so I'm every happy for me and the team also because we worked so hard," the young striker told the club's official website following the 6-1 thumping of Southampton and a first goal for Origi that very nearly went down as an Alberto Moreno strike after the Belgian initially seemed happy to give it to his teammate.
"I told the referee if he gave the goal to Alberto it would be nice because I like to involve everybody." said Origi. "We all want to fight for Liverpool and fight for the team. We showed that we never give up and we have a lot of qualities. We were very confident in our finishing and it ended well. We have a strong team and everyone has confidence, and now we just have to continue like this."
He may have tried to give the goal to Moreno when it was scored, but by the end of the night he had rightly been awarded it for a crucial left-footed touch that sent it under the outstretched hand of Maarten Stekelengurg and sent Liverpool into the half with a commanding lead. He completed his perfect hat-trick in the second half with a thunderous right-footed shot from the edge of the area and a free header.
A strong as his night was, it probably doesn't put him in line to start ahead of Sturridge or Benteke on the weekend when Liverpool take on Newcastle, though a confident Origi could make a massive impact if needed coming off the bench. He will also be in line for another mid-week start next week, when Liverpool take on FC Sion in their final Europa League group stage match with first place on the line.