Divock Origi leaves Liverpool as Anfield’s ultimate cult hero

This summer signals the end of an era at Liverpool as Divock Origi officially end their epic eight-year association with the Premier League club.

The Belgium international striker joins Serie A champions AC Milan on a free transfer after the Reds confirmed they would not renew the 27-year-old’s contract.

Nonetheless, Origi leaves Anfield as a true cult hero, loved by fans for his dedication, hard work and lucky touch of scoring a series of incredibly important goals in incredibly important games.

The forward first signed from Lille for the Reds in the summer of 2014 but was then immediately loaned to the Ligue 1 side for the 2014/15 season as part of the deal. He was then officially unveiled as a Liverpool player the following summer.

Things haven’t always gone smoothly since then, but Origi can certainly walk away with his head held high, having played a significant role in one of the most successful periods in Liverpool history. The forward won six major trophies during his time at Merseyside: Premier League (2019-20), FA Cup (2021-22), Carabao Cup (2021-22), Champions League (2018-19), UEFA Super Cup (2019). ) and FIFA Club World Cup (2019).

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So much more than his stats show

Despite being on the books for eight years, Origi has made a fairly modest 175 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions since his debut in early 2015/16, scoring 41 goals and registering 18 assists in that span.

His first appearance for the club came on 12 September 2015 as a late substitute against Manchester United in the Premier League but he had little impact in the 16 minutes he spent on the pitch as the Reds suffered a 3-1 defeat suffered Old Trafford.

Origi was only 20 at the time and had to wait a few more months before scoring his first goal in a Liverpool shirt, which was part of a hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Southampton in the League Cup quarter-finals.

His first Premier League goal for the club came 11 days later in the 2-2 draw with West Brom at Anfield, when the Belgian equalized in the 96th minute to salvage a point on home soil.

Overall, Origi averaged around a goal every 160 minutes for Liverpool in the Premier League (22 goals in 3,505 minutes on pitch) and a goal every 200 minutes in the Champions League (four goals in 800 minutes) – although of course there were a few more unforgettable than others.

A slow start

Origi signed for Liverpool in a £10million transfer as a 19-year-old after impressing over three years as a rookie with Lille and a striking 2014 World Cup campaign with Belgium. However, after being loaned to the French club for the 2014/15 season, he was called up in L’Equipe’s bottom XI of the season, meaning his eventual arrival at Anfield was rather unfortunate.

Nonetheless, in his first two seasons with the Reds he scored 21 goals in 76 games in all competitions – despite only making 37 (ie almost half) of his total appearances as a regular.

Frustrated by his lack of first-team action, Origi was allowed to join Bundesliga club Wolfsburg on loan at the start of the 2017/18 season and sealed the move on transfer deadline day after missing out on inclusion in two of Liverpool’s first three Premier League matches squad. Origi scored six goals in 34 games (22 starts) for the Bundesliga side before returning to Anfield refreshed for the 2018-19 season – the year his legend really began to grow.

Goal against Everton

It wasn’t until December 2018 for Origi to score his first goal since returning to Liverpool, but he chose the perfect game to end that drought – the Merseyside derby at Anfield. The Reds beat rivals Everton in a thrilling game by a single goal that was finally decided in the 96th minute by a substitute who had come on just 10 minutes earlier.

Desperate for victory, the Reds threw a high ball into Everton’s box that seemed to fizzle out when Virgil van Dijk’s terribly sliced ​​volley sailed high in the air. Luckily, Origi kept his eyes on the falling ball while the Dutchman staggered away in disgust at his own botched attempt, and when Jordan Pickford cleared it with a hash over his crossbar, it was the alert Belgian who lunged to head home from the point beat. empty reach, deserves a goal and Van Dijk an assist!

Origi has scored six goals against Liverpool’s local rivals, more than against any other club.

Goal against Newcastle

Origi was back at it in May 2019 after another well-known late winner of the reserve striker saw Liverpool take first place from Manchester City in the pulsating race for the 2018-19 Premier League title. With a 2-2 result from the 54th minute against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, the Reds seemed to be slipping away from the championship.

That lasted until the 86th minute, when their supersub reappeared to score with a late header, securing the title hunt through the final game of the season. It was one of eleven Premier League goals scored by Origi as a substitute, more than any other player in club history.

City eventually edged out Liverpool and won the league by a single point, beating Brighton & Hove Albion 4–1 on the final day as the Reds finished second despite having the third-highest Premier League point total on record (97) at the time.

Goal(s) against Barcelona

While 2018/19 was simmering on the home front, Origi really painted his masterpiece under the spotlight in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s great European adventure appeared to be over as they suffered a 3-0 defeat by Barcelona in the first leg of the semi-finals at the Camp Nou. In the second leg, however, the Reds staged one of the greatest comebacks of modern times, all heralded by Origi’s opening goal in the seventh minute at Anfield – his first-ever Champions League goal on his debut in the competition.

Jurgen Klopp’s side turned the tie on its head in exceptional fashion as Barca capitulated, with two more goals from second-half substitute Georginio Wijnaldum (about 120 seconds apart) resulting in the 3-3 equaliser.

It was then left to Origi to wrap up the loss and settle matters with 10 minutes remaining after a brilliant freestyle around the short corner alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold allowed the Belgian to complete his comeback and firmly immortalize his name in Liverpool’s Hall of Fame.

Origi’s second goal against Barca was recently voted the club’s greatest ever by Reds fans, beating out stiff competition from Steven Gerrard (against Olympiakos and West Ham United), Kenny Dalglish (against Chelsea) and even Alan Kennedy famous goal against Real Madrid that won the club the European Cup in 1981.

Goal against Tottenham

As if his exploits against Barca weren’t enough, Origi added the icing on the cake, ending his incredible 2018-19 season with one final big goal for Liverpool. It came in the Champions League final, where the Reds met Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.

Klopp’s side took the lead after less than two minutes when Mohamed Salah converted an early penalty, but they didn’t really establish the score until the 87th minute when Origi reacted quickly in the penalty area to end the game in style.

That goal effectively crowned Liverpool European champions for the sixth time in their history (the first since 2005) and also secured Klopp’s first trophy as the club’s manager.

More origi magic

Origi’s exploits in the 2018/19 season saw him sign a new long-term deal with Liverpool, agreeing new terms based on a series of game-winning performances.

The 2019-20 season wasn’t quite as memorable from an individual perspective, but the Belgian still produced notable goals, including a superb last-minute scissor strike against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup – a game Liverpool eventually won 5-4 on penalties after scoring no fewer than TEN goals in regulation time.

The striker scored two more goals against Everton in the Merseyside derby in December 2019 as his side clinched a dominant 5-2 win at Goodison – a result that was part of Liverpool’s club record of 32 unbeaten games in the league.

All in all, Origi scored six goals in 42 games in 2019/20, despite making just 21 starts in all competitions and spending just 1,426 minutes on the pitch overall.

Origi, who once again found himself behind the likes of Salah and Sadio Mane in the pecking order, had even less playing time in 2020-21 (536 minutes total) and 2021-22 (598 minutes) as he scored just seven goals in 35 games in his last both seasons at Anfield.

But the cold hard numbers don’t tell the real story. When it comes to Divock Origi and Liverpool it was an absolutely wild ride that ended with him carving his own unique place in the club’s history.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-toe-poke/story/4695334/divock-origi-leaves-liverpool-as-anfields-ultimate-cult-hero Divock Origi leaves Liverpool as Anfield’s ultimate cult hero

Emma Bowman

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