Divock Origi turns 21 later this month and is proving to be an increasingly essential member of the first-team squad. Many commentators keep referring to his pace, work rate, and physicality as what has compelled Jürgen Klopp to select the 20-year-old in attack. What of the quick feet, the developing movement, and the increasingly rounded game that Origi offers?
Liverpool have had many fantastic strikers over the years, and Origi has become the second new striker to earn the adoration of the Anfield crowd after Danny Ings. The young Belgian striker deserved it, too. He came on at half-time to score a brace of goals to finish off the visitors on a pleasing Sunday afternoon.
After destroying Liverpool 6-1 at the end of last season, Stoke City have found Merseyside's finest too good this season. For Origi, though, it's about enjoying days like Sunday and continuing to work hard. Scoring in successive games is an important step for any young striker at a club with great expectations, but hopefully there will be more goals to come as Liverpool fight on two fronts.
"Playing for the Kop and Anfield is wonderful," said Origi. "To be able to score is the best feeling you can have. I’m very happy for everybody and these are special moments of my career. I worked hard and now it’s starting to pay off. I just try to help the team as much as possible and enjoy the moments. It’s a wonderful moment so I’m very happy.
"He always believed in me and he believes in the group also. The fact that I’m on the pitch gives me confidence and I just try to play my game and enjoy it. I’m very happy that I could score again. I’m feeling very good and for the future, however the coach uses me I’m ready. I just try to help the team and ask many questions."
While it may be too early to anoint Origi as Liverpool's next striking superstar, he certainly has all the tools to become a dangerous attacking option that Liverpool can wield for the rest of the season and beyond. When a Liverpool striker looks the part, it sometimes only serves to highlight the deficiencies in others. Has Origi done enough to secure a starting spot against Borussia Dortmund? Despite the quality of Sturridge, there should be only one viable answer to that question.