Birthdate: 18 April 1995
Birthplace: Ostend, Belgium
Other clubs: Lille (2012-14, loan 2014-15)
Bought from: Lille
Signed for LFC: £9.8m, 29.07.2014
International debut: 01.06.2014 vs. Belgium
International caps: 23/3 (9/0 at LFC) - 01.09.2016
Liverpool debut: 12.09.2015
Last appearance: 18.01.2017
Debut goal: 02.12.2015
Last goal: 14.12.2016
Contract expiry: 2019
Win ratio: 50% W:29 D:18 L:11
Games/goals ratio: 3.41
LFC league games/goals: 34 / 9
Total LFC games/goals: 58 / 17
Player profileFootballers who excel at international tournaments are invariably linked with moves to bigger, more established clubs both during and immediately after such tournaments. Global coverage brings that about. Patrik Berger is one example from Liverpool’s past because he was signed from Borussia Dortmund at the age of twenty-two thirty-two days after the Wembley final of Euro 96, in which he had scored for the Czech Republic. Divock Origi becomes an even younger example by signing for Liverpool in the week of the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil with nine months of his teenage years still left.
Although Origi was born in the Belgian port city of Ostend, his background is the east African country of Kenya. Divock’s father Michael was born in Kenya but played for six different clubs in Belgium and it was during his time at the first of those clubs, K.V. Oostende, that Divock was born in April 1995. Divock’s cousin Arnold plays professionally in Norway so he has definitely been brought up in an environment where football has been a major factor.
Origi’s fledging career began as a youth in the city of Genk in Belgian Limburg but he moved to Lille just across the Franco-Belgian border soon after his fifteenth birthday. He had to be content with reserve-team football initially but showed enough promise to be named in the first-team squad for a French Cup-tie in January 2013 three months before his eighteenth birthday. His senior debut came only nine days later when he scored in a 1-1 draw with Troyes in front of a crowd of over 36,000. Nine more Ligue 1 appearances followed before the end of the season but no more goals. That changed in 2013/14 when he played in 30 of Lille’s 38 league matches, scoring five times and helping his club to third place behind Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco to reach the third qualifying round of the 2014/15 Champions League.
Michael and Arnold Origi both played international football for Kenya but Divock has been representing Belgium at different levels since his mid-teens and had particular success in the Under-19 team, for whom he scored 10 times in 19 matches. The Football Kenya Federation made enquiries about him but any doubts about dual-nationality were ended when national team manager Marc Wilmots named him in the 23-man Belgian squad that would travel to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup finals; and it was there that his profile was really enhanced when he scored a late goal to defeat Russia in the famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio. Having only been a substitute in the first two group matches he might have been disappointed not to start the final group match after scoring in the second. But he still played for half an hour against South Korea as Belgium topped Group H with the maximum nine points. The young forward started the first knock-out match against the United States but was replaced by Lukaku for the period of extra-time. Lukaku scored in Belgium’s 2-1 victory but Origi still started the quarter-final match against Argentina in Brasilia which the South Americans won with a solitary early goal from Higuaín.
Five appearances and one goal in a World Cup finals while still a teenager certainly made Divock Origi a name to remember. If those statistics attracted different clubs around the world, there is no doubt that Liverpool had been monitoring his progress long before a ball was kicked in Brazil. He was also been made available for a realistic fee considering that he had been under contract to Lille until the end of June 2016 and after signing for Liverpool he was loaned back to the Ligue Un club for the whole of the 2014/15 season.
Origi played in 33 of Lille's 38 league matches in 2014/15, scoring eight times. He made a further 11 appearances (one goal) in cup competitions. Lille finished the French season in 8th place, which was not high enough for them to qualify for Europe in 2015/16. In the summer of 2015 he joined his new Liverpool teammates on their tour of the Far East and Australia, scoring in the opening game against the Thai All Stars. Under Brendan Rodgers Origi did not start a league game, but he was given a chance in Jurgen Klopp's first Premiership match in charge away at Spurs. After then being taken out of the limelight to work on his strength, Origi got an opportunity in the quarter final of the League Cup against Southampton, scoring a hat trick in a 6-1 win. He made a huge impact in the second half of the season and was a firm favourite with fans for his refusal to give up. He scored on both legs of the Europa League quarter final against Borussia Dortmund and finished the season with ten goals from 33 appearances. He was called up to the Belgian World Cup squad where he was ahead of Christian Bentecke in the pecking order.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|2||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||West Ham United|
|1||12.09.2015||Manchester United||Old Trafford||League|
|1||45||02.12.2015||Southampton||St Mary's||League Cup|
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