Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson believes that Divock Origi has been little more than “an impact player” in his time at Anfield and feels that his cameo contributions have been insufficient to justify keeping faith in him.
He was speaking to Sky Sports about the potential arrival of Timo Werner at Anfield, with the RB Leipzig striker reportedly ready to sign for the Reds if they meet his £52m release clause (as per Sky Sports), and Thompson feels that the German could be an upgrade on Origi.
He told Sky Sports: “I think he’ll [Werner] give a realistic challenge to the front three. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino – they look as though they’re set. We do have Divock Origi but I think everybody realises that he’s more of an impact player, for sort of the last 15, 20 minutes – but that’s not really good enough.”
In terms of bare scoring figures, Werner would clearly be a more potent option than Origi, with 27 goals this season in contrast to the Belgian’s five. Even when taking into account that the former is a regular starter for his club and the latter is mainly a substitute at Liverpool, the numbers still show Werner’s superiority – he has racked up his 27-goal haul in 2,832 minutes of game-time (one goal per 104.89 minutes) while Origi’s quintet of goals has come in 1,239 minutes on the pitch (one goal per 247.8 minutes).
The Belgian has netted some iconic goals in his time at Anfield – the stoppage time winner against Everton, the brace against Barcelona, the clincher in last year’s Champions League final – but he has never been able to truly nail down a place in Jurgen Klopp’s line-up. He has made only five Premier League starts this season and he was substituted in each of those (as per WhoScored).
Also, despite scoring five goals in all competitions this season, he has found the net in only three matches. There have been eight occasions in 2019/20 where Origi has started a match without finding the net and, even with Liverpool’s first choice centre-forward Roberto Firmino not having a hugely prolific season (11 goals in all competitions), the 25-year-old has not had a sustained run of starts or properly taken advantage of those he has been given.
The Belgian can feel assured of cult hero status at Anfield for the timing of several of his goals last season but, as Thompson has said, he hasn’t really done enough to warrant a fixed position in Klopp’s first XI and the evidence points towards Werner being a better option if the RB Leipzig man comes to Merseyside.
Liverpool fans, do you share Thompson’s reservations about Origi? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!