Many Reds fans reacted with delight last night as the news of Champions League hero Divock Origi officially putting pen to paper on a new long-term deal was announced.
Steve Nicol, however, now a pundit in the US for ESPN, was less than impressed.
His general point – as shown in the video below – was that Origi has not improved since 2014, when he arrived at Anfield from Lille, and that he should not be content with a place on the substitutes bench, as will be the case.
It might be slightly harsh to suggest Origi is the same player now as when he arrived, but there can be no arguing that he will not be first-choice next season, despite last year’s huge goals. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are clearly ahead of him in the pecking order.
If Origi is happy to be the Reds’ back-up option, though, then after last season, he deserves the chance to make that decision – we certainly disagree with Nicol there.
If he can’t cope with being on the bench most weeks once again, the new deal means the Reds will get decent money if they come to sell him on at some point. He would have been able to leave for free in 12 months had the new contract not been sorted.
In short: yes, Nicol does have a point in a sense. But it would take a brave man to deny Origi the chance to stick around if he wanted to.
Now, back to designing that statue…