Finishing the season the way Divock Origi did in 2019 would be special for any player, but considering just how poorly his Liverpool career had been going for the past year, in this case, it was a spectacular turnaround.
The 6’2 attacker was close to a Wolverhampton move last summer, but opted to stay and fight for his place instead, and right up until that goal against Everton, it had looked a poor decision, just another little slip down the ever descending career trajectory of the once highly touted prospect.
Six minutes of injury time was just about enough to turn it all around for the Belgian, however, and in only his second appearance and 17th minute of playing time, Origi pounced on a ridiculous Jordan Pickford error to win the Merseyside derby for the Reds. An assist in his first start of the season three days later didn’t mean the 24-year old would be a genuine threat to the holy trinity, but at least he was getting on the pitch.
We all remember his late winner at Newcastle, his brace against Barcelona in one of the club’s most sensational comeback wins ever, and the capper in the Champions League final. Spectacular turnaround may not be a sufficiently potent description.
With such a strong finish and only a year left on his deal, it was only natural that the club would offer Origi a new contract, and the former Lille man is currenly on holiday considering the offer. Meanwhile, rumours are swirling about interest from abroad, and in a rare move, the club has let it become known that even if Origi were to reject the contract on offer, they are unwilling to sell him this summer, risking losing him on a free transfer next year.
Reasons for staying — lucrative wages, genuine chances of further silverware, learning from one of the best managers in the world, the Kop singing your name — and leaving — playing time, mainly — need to be weighed, and Divock has earned the right to take his time over his decision. Regardless of the outcome, though, Origi’s status as an Anfield cult legend has been established, and if the upcoming season were to be his last with the club, hopefully he can finish it off with a Premier League title to go with his CL winner’s medal.