Divock Origi officially signed a new long-term contract with the Reds on Wednesday night, just over a month after he scored the second goal in the Champions League final to confirm Liverpool as Kings of Europe.
Manager Jurgen Klopp, who deserves enormous credit for thrusting the Belgian into the limelight and out of the shadows last season, reacted to the news as he spoke to LiverpoolFC.com.
The German said: “I really think it’s a win-win situation. It’s a story really only football can write. He struggled really long with the ankle [injury sustained against Everton in 2016] and stuff like that [and when] he came back, the team was flying pretty much.
“He grew and grew and grew, in training sessions you could see it: ‘Wow!’. He scored unbelievably important goals and here we are. The nice thing is he wanted to as well. He realised it was a tough time [but] we never gave up.
“It’s an important role which he will have in the next season.”
It is clear from those comments that Klopp absolutely loves his striker – and rightly so. His attitude and determination to succeed at Liverpool, when few people thought he’d play another minute for the club at one stage, is admirable to say the very least.
Origi will know that he won’t be first choice next season, but with so many matches to contend with, the number 27 will get his chance for minutes. Sadio Mane will be missing against Norwich City in all likelihood, given he is still at AFCON with Senegal, and Origi is the current favourite to start in his place.
Having made such a decisive impact off the bench time and time again last year, Origi will back himself to do similar again. If he does, it could be another sensational season.