When the clock was ticking at the full hour of the Champions League battle with Ajax in Holland last week, Jürgen Klopp decided it was time to completely overhaul his assault team.
Divock Origi probably feared that his number in Liverpool might increase once he did not see it on the fourth official’s electronic board.
Liverpool striker Divock Origi has fallen into the pecking order this season under Jurgen Klopp
Meanwhile, Origi remained in the stands, waiting for an opportunity that never came.
The established trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino was replaced by Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri.
From the first reserve to the top three towards the end of the 2018/19 season – and how the 25-year-old revelled in this role, especially in the Champions League – Origi is now possibly the seventh in a row.
It was the second sign within a few weeks that the Belgian had slipped down the pecking order at Anfield, having only sat on the bench in the Carabao Cup draw against Arsenal.
When he was introduced, Origi missed the penalty shoot-out when the Reds were eliminated from the competition.
Surely there will be opportunities in the coming weeks. He began – scoring a goal and assisting in the 7-2 Carabao Cup win in Lincoln City – and was a beneficiary of the decision to rest the top three on the bench for Midtjylland FC’s Champions League visit on Tuesday.
Having played in 28 Premier League games last season, he has not played a minute of his time in this term and has not been on the bench for the last two high-profile games – the first since November 2018.
“As far as individual performances are concerned, Div hadn’t played for a while and did absolutely well,” Klopp said afterwards.
However, Origi did not take his chance. It didn’t help that he was surprised by two tough challenges, while his lack of minutes was another factor. That was also the reason why he was asked to give his best in a completely new forward direction.
Nonetheless, it is clear that Jay and Minamino, who both competed this year, have moved ahead of Origi, while Shaqiri’s reappearance is yet another competition for a place, despite the fact that the two Swiss have been in midfield this season.
He was not selected to play in the September internationals for Belgium and did not play a minute when he was called up earlier this month.
There is another reason for Origi to be concerned.
Therefore, reports that Club Brugge is considering a loan for the striker in January should not be dismissed, because such a move makes sense for all concerned.
Origi has already saved his Liverpool career once. It might be time for the Belgian to do it all over again.
Since Roberto Martinez’s team is one of the favorites for the European Championships next summer, Origi will want to get involved.