Divock Origi had only just begun to find his form for Liverpool. A strong showing in the League Cup had resulted in the 20-year-old Belgian being favoured over his more experienced compatriot in the league, and Liverpool had looked a better side for it.
There was better movement in the attacking third, with Origi playing off his more creative teammates well and pressing high alongside them. He still seemed a little rough in front of goal, but Liverpool looked a better side with him in it and he seemed set to get the majority of the minutes.
Then he became the latest Liverpool player to fall to an injury, limping off in the first half against Leicester City. Now, word has leaked from the club that he is expected to be out for at least three weeks with a hamstring strain. A return late in January against Norwich is a possibility.
He will, though, certainly miss Liverpool’s next five games, in the league against West Ham, the League Cup’s first semi-final round against Stoke, Exeter in the FA Cup, and then Arsenal and Manchester United in the league again. It’s massively disappointing news for a youngster finding his form.
With Daniel Sturridge unable to be counted on to stay fit and Danny Ings out for the season, it also gives the manager little choice but to continue trying to find a way to get Liverpool’s attack firing with Christian Benteke leading it. If he can’t, it will end up feeling like an awfully long month.
After a slow start to life at Liverpool, a hat-trick against Southampton in the League Cup seemed a signal that young Origi could be ready to contribute this season. He followed that performance up with a late equaliser against West Bromwich Albion.
He joins Sturridge as well as Martin Skrtel and Jordan Rossiter as players currently sidelined with hamstring strains, which have been a common problem for Liverpool this season—Philippe Coutinho, Simon Mignolet, and Kolo Toure have also missed time with hamstring injuries.