The forward has almost left the Reds this summer, but his manager is glad he’s still at the club
Jurgen Klopp admits he was shocked that a ‘proper offer’ did not come this summer for Liverpool striker Divock Origi.
The Belgian made his first appearance of the season, and his first start since January, in the Reds’ 3-2 Champions League victory over AC Milan.
He also marks it in style and offers a wonderful assist for Liverpool’s second goal, scored by Mo Salah, before leaving shortly after the hour with cramps.
What did Klopp say?
Talk to BT Sport after the match, Klopp expressed surprise that no clubs during the transfer window tried to buy Origi and paid tribute to the 26-year-old, who has not even been on the bench for Liverpool in the last three games.
“People forget how good he is,” Klopp said. ‘It’s hard to get into this team.
“Div is a sensational attacker and did very well today.”
Klopp’s venture rewarded
Klopp raised eyebrows with his team selection for the Reds’ first Group B game.
He left out both Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, with Joe Gomez brought in for his first competitive start since November 2020, and Origi a surprising inclusion in the front line.
The rotation was a necessity, the Reds boss said.
“It’s hard to tell everyone who’s warming up tonight why they are not playing,” he said.
“But we must be wise. Players come back from injuries. [Naby] Keita begins, [Jordan] Henderson played a super game, also Fabinho. Origi? An excellent attacker. He did well tonight. ”
Asked what Origi had shown him during training, Klopp added: ‘Nothing special. He’s a great guy. He will be seen as a legend when he leaves.
“He could have left in the summer, but football is a crazy place and people have forgotten how good he is. We need to determine the positions. He did nothing wrong. ”