After officially signing for the club a year ago, Divock Origi is something of a forgotten man on Merseyside. But when the young Belgian striker returns from loan with Lille this summer, he will be looking to make waves at Anfield.
The 20-year-old, signed for £10million in July 2014 and immediately sent back for a season with his former employers, will join a group expected to better last season’s sixth-placed finish.
Here are five reasons why Origi can be a hit at Liverpool.
Welcoming Origi’s arrival last summer, Rodgers praised the striker’s quality, saying: ‘He’s super fast, has a wonderful touch, he’s a good size and is aggressive.’
This is far from the calibre of some of the strikers that Liverpool currently possess: Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert do not have that pace that is vital to succeed under Rodgers – Origi does.
2. Defensive work
‘What I like, and what I have in other players, is that humility to work hard,’ Rodgers continued.
Paired with this necessary pace, a successful Liverpool striker under Rodgers must work hard on and off the ball. Origi offers that.
Though just 20 years old, Origi already boasts considerable experience of top-flight football, as well as in Europe and on the international stage.
With many of Liverpool’s players failing in 2014/15 arguably due to a lack of experience, this could be a key quality within the young striker next season and beyond.
4. Daniel Sturridge to learn from
Origi’s pace and movement as a centre-forward is remarkably similar to that of fellow Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.
With the Englishman looking to put his injury problems behind him in 2015/16, he will be back within Rodgers’ squad and can provide Origi with an invaluable tutor.
5) A good environment to settle in
It won’t just be Sturridge offering Origi guidance when he moves to Merseyside, of course, with Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet keen to welcome his compatriot to the squad.
‘I remember when I was younger and first came over to England, it was important to have someone at Sunderland like Bolo Zenden who spoke my language,’ he said this month. ‘I’m always ready to do that with anyone who comes into the team, and obviously being Belgian it should help Divock.’
Mignolet is clearly pleased to see Origi join the Liverpool squad, and so should supporters this summer.