Liverpool are staring down the barrel of a gun as they consider sending Divock Origi out on loan in January. Voetbal Nieuws has reported that the striker is hoping to secure a move to his homeland in order to boost his chances of a call-up to the Belgium team for next summer’s European Championship.
Whilst the move will benefit Origi, it could put the Reds under intense pressure for the rest of the season. They have already suffered a huge injury crisis in their defence, a blow to their attack could be the end of their title chances this campaign.
Liverpool must buy in the January window
Whilst the Belgian has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp will have just one recognised striker in his senior squad if he leaves in January. Takumi Minamino has been operating more centrally in his recent performances, but he has not yet proven himself as a long-term reliable back up to Roberto Firmino.
After the Reds met Sheffield United at Anfield at the weekend, Klopp admitted that it was a tough decision to let fellow striker Rhian Brewster leave this summer. The youngster has a buy-back clause in his contract with the Blades, but it’s unlikely Liverpool will activate this any time soon.
Mohamed Salah is confident in the No.9 role, but this season has shown that injury can creep up from nowhere. The current defensive crisis sees them without Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and stand-in centre-back Fabinho.
Klopp is having to call upon teenaged Rhys Williams for the time being, and whilst he did a good job against Midtjylland, it shouldn’t be taken as gospel that all youth players can step up in the club’s time of need.
Origi is undoubtedly a cult hero at Liverpool after his performance in their 2018/19 Champions League success. Despite not being up to scratch recently, he is still a fan favourite for the big shifts he has put in over the years. Caoimhin Kelleher has also paid tribute to the 29-cap international’s work ethic.
“He always comes up with massive goals,” the goalkeeper told Sky Sports. “He was unreal tonight and the whole team tonight, we had a never say die attitude and we kept going until the end.”
Equally rated by his teammates and fans, it will be tough to let go of two senior strikers within four months. The only way Liverpool can ensure this doesn’t come back to haunt them is if they recruit smart in the upcoming January window.
Letting Origi go is fine, just as long as Klopp and Michael Edwards have a replacement lined up to ensure that they have plenty of attacking cover for the business end of the 2020/21 campaign. However, allowing him to leave and not bringing in a replacement could have dire consequences as they would be a Firmino injury away from another crisis.
In other news, “World-class” Rhys Williams can be key for Liverpool, on one condition…
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