Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is delighted with the “really big steps” that Divock Origi is making and is sure that the Belgian striker can still improve.
Klopp told Liverpool’s official website that Origi has done well to adapt physically to the Premier League after a slow start to his first season at Anfield.
Klopp feels that Origi may have tried too hard to make an impression at Liverpool upon linking up with the squad last summer, after his 2014 transfer from Lille.
But the 20-year-old, who has five goals in 22 appearances this season, is now starting to show his true colours and looks as if though he could be a real asset.
And Klopp sees plenty of potential in Origi to get even better – highlighting his hard-working nature, intelligence, pace and technical prowess as his strengths.
“Everybody saw before his last injury, he made really big steps, really great,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website. “He used the time to [build] a little bit more muscle, which is important, especially as a striker in England, because they are all very, very physical and strong centre-halves.
“In my opinion, in this moment he plays really cool. He’s a very hard worker for the team but with the ball he’s really cool, he’s smart enough to go behind the line and use his speed and he’s technically good enough to play with us and be an option. So it’s a really good situation.”
Klopp added to Liverpool’s official website: “The good thing with a player like Divock is that you can improve on every part of his game – that’s cool.
“But of course he’s a big talent and everybody knows him for three or four years, so he started really early. When we came here, he was injured before and tried to come into the team, into a new club.
“After a few very successful years it [was] then a little bit [of a] difficult year, so he didn’t play the most self-confident football in the world. He started dribbling a bit too much and things like this and in one situation wanted to show all the skills he has, that was not too clever.
“But I saw this a lot of times, especially with young players, so I talked to him, gave him a little bit of rest and [told him to] cool down. You don’t have to change the world in one day, really, [I told him], this is what you have to improve.”
The Reds bought Origi on the back of his impressive showings for Belgium at the 2014 World Cup, but the following season at Lille saw him named in Ligue 1’s worst team of the year, as Sky Sports reports.
And his initial few months at Liverpool raised concerns that we had become the latest club to be fooled by a few good games at a major international tournament. But those worries have now been quashed.
It is possible that his success at a young age had got to Origi’s head and deterred his focus. If so, Klopp has definitely nailed his feet firmly back to the ground, and we are starting to see the benefits.
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