Why Liverpool Were Right Not to Loan Divock Origi to Another Premier League Club

Matt Ladson@mattladsonFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2014

FILE - In this Sunday, June 22, 2014 file photo, Belgium's Divock Origi, center, celebrates with teammates Daniel Van Buyten, left, and Belgium's Axel Witsel, right, after Origi scored the opening goal during the group H World Cup soccer match between Belgium and Russia at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Liverpool says it has signed Belgium striker Divock Origi from Lille and will loan him back to the French club for the whole of next season. The 19-year-old forward, who impressed during Belgium’s run to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, completed his transfer in the United States - where Liverpool is on a pre-season tour. The club said he had signed a “long-term deal” without giving details. British media put the transfer fee at 10 million pounds ($17 million). Origi, who joined Lille from Genk in 2010, says “Liverpool is one of the greatest clubs in the world and I’m very excited to be part of this great history.” (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, file)
Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

Liverpool completed the signing of Belgium forward Divock Origi last week, the 19-year-old arriving from Lille for a reported £10 million fee, as per The Guardian.

Origi though won't be at Anfield this season, having instead been loaned straight back to Lille for the 2014/15 season.

He's a player who has been tracked by Liverpool for quite some time—since he was 15. "When I arrived in the offices there, they showed me cassettes of me in the Under-15s" explained the player, via The Daily Mail. "Everyone knew me. I couldn’t believe it."

"He burst on to the scene at the World Cup, but we’d tracked him before that, we’d seen him as a young player playing in the youth internationals," explained manager Brendan Rodgers, via The Guardian. "He has everything to be world class."

LILLE, FRANCE - AUGUST 05:  Divock Origi of Lille looks on during the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round 2nd leg match between LOSC Lille and Grasshopper Club Zurich at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on August 5, 2014 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Dean
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Liverpool had clearly done their homework on the teenager, and moved quickly to get the agreement with Lille in place before the World Cup.

Indeed, allowing Origi to remain at Lille, rather than move to a Premier League club on loan, makes sense for all parties.

Obviously it's preferred for Lille, they get to keep a player of genuine quality for another year, Liverpool are happy for the player to continue to develop there, and Origi is happy to remain settled at his current club.

Origi explained how "Steven Gerrard told me it was a shame that I wouldn’t be there straight away as everyone was waiting impatiently for me." However, that is no doubt Gerrard simply being nice.

The last thing that either the player or Liverpool want is for him to be pushed too far too soon.

Forward David Ngog arrived from the French Ligue 1 in 2008 at a similar age as Origi, but failed to settle in England and soon found his opportunities limited, hampering his progress and development as a youth player. No such issue will arise with Origi who can instead get plenty of action at Lille, who finished third last season.

Lille are in the Champions League play-off third round, meaning Origi is likely to experience Europe's highest level of competition this season too. Something that Liverpool would not be able to offer him—nor any other Premier League side had he been loaned to a mid-table Premier League club.

Lille (and Divock Origi) could face Arsenal in the CL Play Off. I know one scenario that would kick start his Liverpool career...

— Robin Bylund (@robinbylundLFC) August 5, 2014

Indeed, further advantages of Origi being loaned back to Lille, rather than a Premier League side, means that he will be somewhat out of the limelight, away from the media and overly analytical supporters, able to develop, make mistakes and arrive at Anfield next summer as a better player, not one who has suffered at the hands of another English side.

While Liverpool may have a striker shortage on their hands at present, provided they can bring in a forward—or two—that they require before the transfer window closes, they will be happy to have loaned Origi back to Lille.

Of course, there's also the strong possibility that Liverpool were only able to get the agreement with Lille in place by actually allowing them to loan the player back, making the suggestion of loaning Origi to a Premier League side null anyway.

Hopefully the player can develop as expected and arrive at Anfield with clear goals in mind, having experienced Champions League football and regular game time at the French club.


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