Former England international Paul Mariner has claimed that Liverpool are attempting to save up to £100million by keeping striker Divock Origi.
The Daily Telegraph reported recently that the Reds have opened contract talks with the Belgian, and will keep him at the club even if he doesn’t sign an extension to his current deal which runs out next summer.
Mariner has given his take: “I think what’s going to happen here is that [Jurgen] Klopp’s decided that he’s got his main guys and unless they go down badly then Origi can sort of just step in.” he told ESPN, as per the Daily Express.
“That’s the thinking behind it, because if he goes into the market for a striker nowadays, at the level that Liverpool are at, we’re talking £70million, £80million, £100million. So maybe that’s not the way he wants to go.”
Origi was a fringe player for Liverpool last season, make no mistake about it. As per Transfermarkt, he made 21 first team appearances last time out. However, plenty of them were substitute appearances and he was very much a back up player behind the team’s fearsome front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Having said that, he did extremely well in the limited minutes he was given and played a key role in the team claiming a sixth European Cup at the start of June. He will know the role he’ll be expected to play moving forward, but it’s an important one. Mariner is right, because of how big a club Liverpool are and the sort of players they look to attract, if they were to offload Origi and buy a replacement for him, they’d be looking at a very expensive purchase indeed. Maybe not £100million, but still a heck of a lot of money for someone who is merely going to serve as first reserve to the front three.