As late as December of last year, most Liverpool fans had — and would have been forgiven for — given up on Divock Origi as a meaningful contributor to Liverpool Football Club. The once highly-rated striker had come off an enormously frustrating season on loan at Wolfsburg, where two managerial changes saw him fall out of favour as the misfiring Wolves were lucky to avoid relegation.
Upon his return he was marked for a permanent move, but rejected a transfer to Wolverhampton in the summer — possibly deciding that wolves were not his lucky animal — and spent the first four months of the season on the bench or, more commonly, out of the matchday squad entirely. Jürgen Klopp’s doghouse is a cold and lonely place, and the 23-year old’s Anfield future looked all but done.
Then, in only his 17th minute of action all year, a weird but unbelievably cathartic moment at Everton, popping up in the right place as Jordan Pickford flapped his little arms uselessly at air, notching the derby winner from close range. A goal and an assist followed in each of his subsequent appearances, and although he looked rusty, the former Lille man was slowly working his way back into his manager’s good graces.
We all remember how Origi ended the season, of course, notching another injury time winner at Newcastle to keep the Reds in the title race, before a brace at Anfield in one of the club’s finest ever moments saw Barcelona ruthlessly knocked out of the Champions League. Origi was getting among the goals and, perhaps more importantly, looked like he belonged on the pitch.
Now, reports out of Belgium claim that the 24-year old has been offered an extension on his current deal, which runs out in 12 months time. No word yet as to whether the new contract will see an increase in Origi’s €70k per week wages, but the club has allegedly been looking to wrap up the deal as quickly as possible.
With Daniel Sturridge leaving the club this summer, and Rhian Brewster yet to play a single minute of senior football, Origi currently looks set to start next season as the only real option to the holy trinity of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, and while most expect the club to go out and pick up at least one versatile attacking player in the summer, there is a chance Big Div has done enough to make himself the primary option next year.
Or a new deal just puts the club in a better position when negotiating his transfer fee. One or the other.