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How Liverpool Wooed Divock Origi

Divock Origi's recent interview has not only revealed much about Liverpool's pursuit of the player but also underlines the club's strong commitment to young players.

Divock Origi Dragonball Z special technique! Burst of Pace!
Divock Origi Dragonball Z special technique! Burst of Pace!
Dean Mouhtaropoulos

There have been tales of how various clubs have attracted players through minute details and a commendable personal touch. The best managers who have been successful in charming the best young players have not only focused on winning over parents as well as players but have been able to show a dedicated plan for the integration of the player in the future. Naturally, it is common knowledge that many youngsters don't realise their potential when they move to the biggest clubs in world football but some do make it.

In this period of Liverpool FC, it seems that the philosophy of the manager and the way the club is run lends itself to promoting young talent. That's not to claim that the focus on youth is excessive nor is it to snidely point out that the club is averse to focusing on the present but to affirm that young players can thrive at the club. They'll get a fair shake under a manager who admires what young players can bring to a team. Brendan Rodgers has given young players "a fair shake" in his two seasons at the club.

One question often facing young people when looking for a job is that experience is required to get one but how can one attain experience without a job? In the world of Brendan Rodgers, the training field also offers opportunities for players to state their claim while their experience is still relatively limited. It's what propelled the likes of Kristoffer Peterson and Adam Phillips to the squad for the American tour. It's why there's genuine hope for the talented pair Emre Can and Lazar Marković; there is a clear pathway for young players to find a place in the current Liverpool set-up.

Lille have qualified for Friday's Champions League play-off draw after seeing off Grasshopper Club over two legs and Liverpool's Divock Origi made his first competitive appearance of the new season from the substitutes bench. It was his interview with L'Equipe (reported by ESPN) that revealed the extent to which Liverpool pursued him and it is illuminating. Brendan Rodgers spoke of Origi's "world class" potential and that was a little surprising as while Rodgers is a manager who welcomes incoming players with his usual zest and praise, it was quite effusive for Liverpool's latest high ceiling youngster. Was Rodgers going a tad too far in praising a player who was to be instantly loaned back to his old club or was this a genuine expression of the vast reservoir of talent that this young forward could call upon?

It appears that much was done to bring Origi to Liverpool and perhaps Rodgers was merely conveying how much he rated the player. Origi himself was surprised at the lengths Liverpool went to research his suitability for the club. "Liverpool followed me for a long time," Origi revealed to L'Equipe. "When I arrived in the offices there, they showed me cassettes of me in the Under-15s. Everyone knew me. I couldn't believe it. When I arrived, I was impressed. Steven Gerrard told me it was a shame that I wouldn't be there straight away as everyone was waiting impatiently for me. That means something. I also saw Sturridge, who was very nice."

It may be a few more years before one can truly assess the long-term impact of young players on Liverpool's prospects. Anyone who watched Liverpool's first half showing against Manchester United will see that Raheem Sterling is a blossoming superstar but Divock Origi must be determined to be a precocious talent making displaying his talents next season. The two dominant managers in the Premier League era, Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, forged a reputation as nurturers of young players and engendered loyalty through their commitment to promoting young talent. Stories have been written of the personal touch and warmth with which youngsters have experienced when first meeting two of the biggest managers in the game.

Brendan Rodgers has done much in his time at Liverpool to suggest that it would be unsurprising that a youngster such as Divock Origi would be courted in such a fashion. The fee for a raw player of considerable potential doesn't seem overtly unreasonable and his showing at the World Cup didn't do much to push the fee up as a deal was reportedly in the works for quite a while. Long gone are the days where Liverpool would assess a player based on a few stunning performances at an international tournament. There's no doubt that Liverpool weren't the only club the player and his family spoke to, he's a talented youngster who plays with head up more than usual and has the technical as well as physical gifts for a few clubs to try their luck.

When Brendan Rodgers tells you that his desire for you is "to become one of the best in the world" then all there is left is to give 171% and fight for your life everyday.

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