With the January transfer window rapidly approaching, media outlets are jumping all over any and all potential transfer rumours. Sometimes, when there are no new links to report on, rumour mongers will fall back on old rumours and try to revive them despite no new evidence that a deal is likely.
The latest links between Divock Origi and West Ham United appear to be one such case. The latest story comes from The Express, who claim that the Hammers are ready to make a big to bring Origi to London. Apparently, they are hoping to get some backup for striker Michail Antonio, and because they’ve wanted the Liverpool man in the past, he is the obvious solution.
In other words, there are no new links. The Express is manufacturing a story about West Ham being ready to bid for Origi because they wanted to bring him in over the summer. They link to a story from GiveMeSport that includes this quote from journalist Pete O’Rourke:
“Divock Origi finds himself down the pecking order at Liverpool and we know West Ham have been long-term admirers of the Belgian. It’s an interesting one, that one, it’s one to keep an eye on.”
So, one journalist basically said he could see West Ham making a bid because they’ve considered it in the past and Origi is in a position where he could want a move away from LFC. The Express then turned that into “journalist says West Ham are ready to make a bid!”
He did not say that, but let’s look at the case for a potential Origi to West Ham move anyway.
Origi has been front and center after a long period of anonymity thanks to a stoppage-time winner over Wolverhampton early this month that was followed by the deciding goal in Liverpool's final Champions League group stage match with AC Milan a few days later. Naturally, the exposure has reminded journalists that Origi exists, so transfer rumours were bound to emerge.
Origi is down to the final six months of his contract, and there’s been virtually no talk of a potential extension, so January will be Liverpool’s last chance to get anything in return for the striker’s departure. Additionally, he is low enough in the attacking pecking order that he doesn’t see regular playing time, so a move away is logical if he is hoping to increase his minutes.
Conversely, Liverpool have plenty of reasons to hang onto the man with the penchant for scoring monumental goals. The most obvious is that with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané set to miss all of January when they head to the Africa Cup of Nations, LFC aren’t likely to offload any attackers that could help fill that void.
Liverpool have also shown in the past that they are willing to let a contract run down and lose players on a free transfer if the player is still in their plans. We saw this just last season with the Gini Wijnaldum situation. If they were willing to forego a transfer fee for Gini to keep him for an extra six months, there is little doubt they’ll do the same for Origi if they think he can help them for the rest of the season.
Finally, and perhaps even most importantly, Origi has shown he has no desire to leave Liverpool. While he’s popped up with the odd start here and there, and always seems to find a way to make an impact when he does play, he’s never had a consistent role at LFC.
However, instead of pushing for a move to a club that could offer regular playing time, Origi has always looked perfectly content with his limited role at one of the best clubs in world football. He is likely to be playing for another club next season, but there is simply no reason to believe he’ll want to rush his departure from Liverpool by agreeing to a January transfer.
So, in summation, while one could see why an Origi transfer could make sense, there are more reasons to believe that it won’t happen than there are to believe that it will. There is simply no reason to buy into a retread of a rumour from this past summer unless we hear it from someone who actually has solid ties to the club.