Divock Origi enjoyed a memorable 45 minute debut versus Thai All-Stars for Liverpool yesterday, scoring a late goal to confirm our simple 4-0 pre-season victory.
The prodigal Belgian played as a lone striker in a 4-3-3 formation, and enjoyed Jordon Ibe and Adam Lallana flanking him on either side.
The 20-year-old played a part in Adam Lallana’s goal, hit the post twice, before nodding in from a corner to leave Liverpool supporters delighted with what they’d seen.
“It felt great to score my first goal,” Origi began.
“It is always good for the confidence and it feels special to score in my first game.
“I could have scored more goals but I am happy. It was wonderful to play in Thailand in front of all the supporters.
“It wasn’t easy waiting to join Liverpool because everybody wants to join a big club like Liverpool. I was very excited for the new challenge.”
Origi was signed last summer from Ligue 1, but stayed with Lille on loan in 2013/14 to maximise his playing time. He actually endured an at times torrid campaign in France, but is determined to hit the ground running now he’s finally joined Liverpool.
“Now I have come here I can see that the club is even bigger than I thought. And it is always nice to be playing with such good players,” Origi continued.
“It is up to the coach to make the choices,” he added.
“I just have to be ready, try to learn a lot and if I get the chance to give everything.
“I am confident about myself and now I am in a good place. But I’m still young and I still have a lot to learn.
“Playing with experienced players and a very good staff can help me improve every day. I have to focus on myself and improving, then the coach will make the choices.”
The striker, who’s also comfortable on the left wing, has revealed that Liverpool kept in constant contact with him while he was away, and claims world-class Belgium team-mates such as Vincent Kompany have been also acting as mentors.
“I had a lot of contact but I would like to keep it quiet what was said,” he said.
“There was good communication and it is always good to know that there is a club like Liverpool that want me.
“I am very passionate about football so I was always watching Liverpool last season but I don’t want to talk about last season. That’s gone.
“I think I am a better player now than a year ago. I’m still young and at this stage of your career you are learning a lot of things.
“I just feel that now I’m at the right moment at the right place to be able to become a good player.”
“Vincent is always trying to help me. He is a great guy and an inspiration so it will be nice to see him in the Premier League,” Origi said.
“All the Belgian players who play in England always tell me good things about the Premier League. They are all excited and very happy to be playing against the teams.
“They told me I’d enjoy the Premier League as long as I give everything so I am excited to see how it goes.”
We’re likely to see Origi again on Friday as we take on Brisbane Roar in our second pre-season friendly of the tour.
Hopefully the young powerhouse can continue his excellent form and give Brendan Rodgers a genuine selection question at the start of the season.