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Why Liverpool’s Divock Origi’s loan move to Wolfsburg makes sense

Scott Challinor

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Origi

Given the injury woes of Daniel Sturridge in recent years, some Liverpool fans may well be scratching their heads over a loan move for Belgium international Divock Origi being sanctioned, with the player heading to Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg on a season-long loan, as confirmed on the club website.

Yet, looking into the finer details, it becomes quite easy to understand why this deal has been done. According to the Daily Mirror, a £6 million loan fee has been paid by the German club to secure Origi’s services, with no option to buy the player and a recall option available to be triggered in January, a move which clearly states that Liverpool’s intention in letting the player leave temporarily in order to allow him to gain regular football.

What do the stats say?

Origi has made 21 Premier League starts in 55 top-flight appearances for the Reds since his £10 million move from Lille back in 2014, and has netted 21 goals in all competitions, 12 of those coming in the league. His only appearance this campaign came in the opening day draw at Watford.

Much of his inclusion in and around the first-team has likely been down to Sturridge’s afore-mentioned injury woes, and in that time the Belgian has established himself as something of a goal source, although not prolific. He also has four Premier League assists from his four seasons at the club. He also holds a little-known Belgian national team record: he is their youngest ever goalscorer in a World Cup competition at 19 years of age, after scoring the winning goal at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in the group stage against Russia.

Has Origi fallen down the pecking order?

Undoubtedly the Belgian has done just that. With Sturridge now at full fitness and Roberto Firmino now functioning as a recognised centre-forward, Origi was always likely to play a bit-part role from the bench. The biggest blow to his prospects at Anfield, however, has been the arrival of Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke earlier in the window. The England U20 international was part of the side that triumphed in the U20 World Cup in South Korea this summer, and has looked a real handful in pre-season, which appears to have put him ahead of Origi in Klopp’s plans.

Origi is currently third choice striker in the Belgian national team behind Christian Benteke and new Manchester United signing Romelu Lukaku, and with just 22 senior caps and three goals to his name and a World Cup around the corner, he will know he needs to be playing regular football to enhance his prospects.

Why Wolfsburg?

Besides the fact that the Bundesliga club will be paying Origi’s wages during his stint in Germany, it is a move that vastly benefits both Liverpool and the player himself. Origi will benefit from regular football, and is a solid bet to score goals given his exploits in limited minutes with the Reds. The deal itself is also of vast benefit to the Merseysiders, not only due to the wage situation, but given that the Germans have no option to buy after the loan expires.

Origi, therefore, has the chance to enhance his reputation and his Belgium prospects ahead of the World Cup, and in the event regular football vastly benefits him, Liverpool know they’ll at least be getting him back at the end of the season, and even have the option to recall in January in the event of injuries; always a possibility with Daniel Sturridge.

That is without even considering what he offers Wolfsburg, and that is a player who has proven himself a capable finisher, with strong aerial ability who can make an impact from the bench as well as starting games. This is a deal which benefits the player and both clubs, and should Liverpool need him back the option is there. A shrewd piece of business from the Reds which may set aside funds for further deadline day deals.

23 year old from Stoke-on-Trent. Avid Port Vale fan. Also follow Derby County & OGC Nice closely. BA Hons Modern Languages Graduate (University of Oxford). My prior experience in Sports Journalism comes from Volleyball & Floorball, having worked on major tournaments with the CEV, FIVB, & IFF. Have been contributing pieces to The Boot Room since 2016. Views are my own.

Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers’ mistake with Suso could cost Liverpool £34m to rectify

The Spaniard left Liverpool in 2015 after failing to have first-team assurances at Anfield.

Mathew Coull

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It is being reported this summer that Liverpool are keen on bringing Spanish attacker Suso to the club from AC Milan. Of course, it would be a return to the club for the 24-year-old.

The 24-year-old winger first joined Liverpool in 2014 from his boyhood club Cadiz. It was something of an under-the-radar signing but which soon had Liverpool fans very excited.

Suso put in a string of fantastic performances with the club’s youth-team and Liverpool fans felt they had a special talent on their hands at Melwood.

However, Suso found himself hitting a glass ceiling at Liverpool. The signing of players like Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho left the Spaniard struggling for football. After a loan spell in his homeland with Almeria in 2013-14, the attacker had clearly decided his future was no longer with Liverpool.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

He decided to let his contract expire on Merseyside and in January 2015 AC Milan paid a compensation fee to end that deal early and bring him to Italy.

Suso has since gone on to establish himself as a star in Italian football. After initial struggles, which saw him loaned out to Genoa in 2016, he has now begun to fulfil his potential at the San Siro.

The past two seasons he has been a regular and the club’s best assist maker. Such good form even saw him make his debut for the senior Spanish national team last year.

Now it is being reported Liverpool are one of the teams interested in activating his release clause. As reported by Calciomercato this month, the Spaniard has a €40 million (£35 million) release clause in his contract at the San Siro. Considering the compensation paid to Liverpool in 2015 was reported by the Daily Mail to be just £1 million, Liverpool will not be taking the re-signing of Suso lightly. It would be at the cost of £34 million, considering they had the Spaniard in their clutches just three years ago.

Fans at Anfield rarely see their club having to rebuy a player. It is certainly more of a ‘Chelsea thing’ to do, with Nemanja Matic and David Luiz both returning to the club at a cost in recent times.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

At the time of Suso’s departure, Liverpool fans were not impressed that the club had allowed the situation to spiral out of their control. The finger was pointed swiftly at Brendan Rodgers for not giving the Spaniard, who was highly-rated among the fanbase, a chance. He clearly did not offer him the vision of a first-team future at Anfield.

But if Liverpool’s current boss Jurgen Klopp believes Suso has developed into a player that can truly give the Reds another edge, then they simply must bite the bullet. Just look at how one former Premier League ‘flop’ has performed since returning to England via Anfield? Another Mohamed Salah would be a very welcome moment for Liverpool fans.

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Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha would be an underwhelming signing for Liverpool

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Photo: Getty Images.

Liverpool have become the latest top six club to be linked with Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha as the Liverpool Echo included the Reds as one of many sides believed to be chasing the Ivory Coast winger.

However, if the club do make a move for the 25-year-old, it would show a lack of ambition after what many have perceived to be a season of progress as Liverpool have reached the Champions League final whilst retaining their top four spot.

On paper, a wideman with strength and pace who scores goals would be ready-made for Jurgen Klopp’s attacking set-up and could provide a much needed rotation option alongside the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane up-front.

Despite that, it would be a huge gamble to invest in Zaha. One reason for that is that he has showed his best form at Selhurst Park in the second half of 2017/18 as Roy Hodgson gave the winger a free role in attack, allowing him freedom to switch between flanks and centrally in a number ten role.

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on March 31, 2018 in London, England.

At Anfield, Zaha would not possess such an option, and if he tried to maintain many of the key traits of his game of cutting inside and drifting around near the opposition box, he would be standing on the toes of established regulars like Salah and Firmino.

Then there is the concern over Zaha’s ability to adapt. His previous spell at Manchester United hinted at the fact that he has struggled with the associated pressure of being at a big club like Liverpool or their north-western rivals, which will be a concern for any club paying the astronomical transfer fee that Crystal Palace would demand for his services.

The winger has undoubted potential, but as Champions League finalists and with money to spend, Liverpool can afford to go after established stars rather than taking expensive gambles on unproven men who have a history of inconsistency.

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Liverpool

Swansea approach for Liverpool youngster Yan Dhanda could prove a shrewd piece of business

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

Swansea City’s recent relegation to the Championship has only been a matter of days and already the club are lining up potential deals for next season.

According to BBC Sport, the Swans are very close to signing the talented Liverpool youngster Yan Dhanda, with the Birmingham-born forward out of contract in the summer.

The 19-year-old is highly rated and has been one of Liverpool’s most promising prospects for many years.

However, he looks set for an Anfield exit and a move to the Swans comes at a time during which the South Wales outfit are looking to establish a squad that can target promotion next season.

Dhanda’s arrival would represent a shrewd piece of business.

Having joined Liverpool from West Brom in 2013, Dhanda was once one of the Baggies most prized possessions and a star of the club’s academy system.

His move to Merseyside,  at the age of 15, angered former Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace at the time, who was quick to show his discomfort with the bigger sides stealing their best talents.

However, Swansea will be delighted if the Liverpool midfielder moves to the Liberty Stadium.

After all, the Championship could be the perfect platform for the teenager considering the likes of Nottingham Forest and Leeds have previously shown an interest in his talents.

A move to Wales could be the perfect opportunity for Dhanda to showcase what the likes of Leeds and Forest were missing out on.

The youngster was a regular feature in the Reds’ Premier League 2 campaign, and his jump to the Championship could be the perfect opportunity for him to establish himself in the senior game.

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