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Wijnaldum: Origi “Deserved” Derby Winner

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Gini Wijnaldum believes that the forgotten man deserved his victory on Sunday.

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Be honest. What was your response when Jürgen Klopp brought on Divock Origi as the Merseyside derby ticked, scoreless, into the final minutes? Once believed to be a huge up-and-coming talent for Liverpool, Origi’s career was derailed during this very same fixture back in 2016 when Ramiro Funes Mori got himself a red card with a nightmare tackle that saw Origi taken off the pitch on a stretcher.

Now, two-and-a-half years later, Origi had the opportunity to help put that particular demon to rest, in the very best way possible. Netting a weirdo, 96th minute goal in front of the Kop to break an otherwise frustrating stalemate and steal Liverpool three points against their fierce blue rivals feels like perfect symmetry.

It seems Gini Wijnaldum believes the same thing, admitting that the whole dressing room was thrilled for Origi.

“He hasn’t been playing but he has never moaned or complained,” Wijnaldum explained. “He has kept training hard and has kept doing his best in every session. He deserved that chance to play and the fact he scored and gave us the three points makes it even more beautiful.

“Every player in this squad is important. If a defender goes out we have another top defender who can step in. It’s the same in midfield and attack. When Divock came on he showed his pace straight away with that run down the line. He was a threat to the Everton defenders and did so well.”

It’s hard seeing a player not succeed, and while this likely hasn’t saved Origi’s Liverpool career, it was certainly a good note to end on, if it’s coming to an end. We’ll always have this day, Divock.