Divock Origi: Why I turned down Manchester United

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Divock Origi has a large advantage on many other Liverpool players in that he arrived at Anfield having previously rejected our bitterest rivals – Manchester United.

The young Belgian, the son of the first Kenyan to play European football Mike Origi, moved to Lille aged 15 from Genk – in spite of intense interest from Old Trafford.

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“I looked at Lille’s academy, and saw that Eden Hazard had come through there,” the forward said, reported in the Telegraph. “I looked at their other players. Gervinho and Joe Cole were in the first team. I thought I’d have the chance to go through there.

“It was nothing against Manchester United. At that moment, I was 15 years old and didn’t have anything against them or any team. My dream was to play in the Premier League one day but my heart said that I had to go through at Lille first.”

As it worked out, Origi stayed at Lille until his 20th birthday, when Brendan Rodgers and the committee spent £10m to take the wonderkid to Anfield.

And the striker could face United, the side he turned down, during our Europa League double-header starting next week.

“It is always special to play United,” he said. “I am very motivated and excited for this game and this tournament as I believe we can go far. We are ready for the fight.”

So far Origi’s scored five goals, a decent return considering he’s only started eight matches in total.

He played from the offset against Manchester City last time out and did excellently, stretching their defence with telling, forward runs.

Origi has great pace, dribbling skill and touch – and his potential to improve is enormous.

The fact he’s climbed above £32.5m Christian Benteke in the pecking order proves this already, and we think he’ll be at Liverpool for a long, long time.

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