Some Liverpool fans may be hoping for an instant impact from Divock Origi when he arrives this summer following his year on loan at Lille, but following an impressive showing at last year’s World Cup, it’s hard to overstate just how disappointing he has been domestically since. In fact, his year with Lille has been so poor that today, L’Equipe named him to their Ligue 1 worst eleven.
His big move to Liverpool last summer, which involved an immediate loan back to Lille, likely played a role in his selection by raising his profile and expectations. Similarly, his role for Belgium at the World Cup will have helped to set the bar high. The simple reality, though, is that Origi has not played well at all for a Lille side that struggled at times on the way to an eighth place finish this season.
Even if Origi’s raised profile played a role in his selection, it doesn’t change that he did not have a good season. And it suggests that any Liverpool fan expecting him to arrive at Liverpool and set the Premier League alight might want to readjust expectations. Origi played 43 times in all competitions for Lille this season, scoring nine goals with a 14.7% strike rate and a goal every 318 minutes on the pitch.
The strike rate is encouraging for a 20-year-old striker and suggests that despite the low per-minute return, he’s not a bad finisher. Meanwhile, that low per-minute return does reflect that he was often shunted out wide while Nolan Roux provided the focal point in attack. Still, both numbers will need to improve if Origi is to become a difference maker, and that he’s still some ways off being that in Ligue 1 is worth remembering.
Origi is a good young player and promising prospect, and a big part of why he made L’Equipe’s worst of the season list is that his profile and expectations were raised too high too soon. That, and not his placement on the list, needs to be the takeaway for Liverpool fans.