A corner taken quickly; a Kop end winner in the Derby; a Champions League final goal; that header against Newcastle; the winner at Wolves this season, and so much more. Where to start with this one? There’s just so many moments, so many memories, so many occasions that have resulted in last gasp limbs that should now rightly be forever known as: The Divock Origi. This is a player that epitomises the term super sub. A player who arrived a young man with all the potential in the world; a player who very nearly left as a man disappointed by how things turned out, but, ultimately, a man who departs as Anfield’s latest legend with a whole chapter of legacy-defining goals left behind.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed the news we all knew already. That Origi will be leaving this summer – likely to AC Milan. He leaves, in truth, at the right time. A time where the love for him is as strong as ever. When Anfield sings his name if Liverpool are in need of a late goal or heroic moment, because we know that he is the man to turn to. He has made us believe that, no matter what, the three points can be ours.
We never saw a change in attitude, either. The cool, calm and collected version of Origi remained true. Even as others arrived to further cement his role as a super sub or backup and not a player consistently called upon from the start. He has never been the loudest player, either, even in celebration. In fact, just take a look at THAT corner taken quickly. I’ve celebrated a 5-aside winner more than Origi in the Champions League semi-final. But that sums him up that, having just scored the winning goal to take Liverpool to the final against all odds, he just casually strolled, taking in the atmosphere, taking in his moment.
Off the pitch, too, we like the way Origi moves, with his scholarship at the University of Liverpool almost acting as his leaving gift. The scholarship aims to empower students, who will hopefully follow the forward’s ambitious nature, rather than his ability to complete the task at the very last minute!
It almost feels a bit surreal that the player once fresh off a failed loan move at Wolfsburg is now at the centre of all of our best memories in football. Every trophy that we’ve seen this side win has somehow featured a strike to remember from Origi. So, when they say ‘football without Origi is nothing’ perhaps it’s more of a realistic notion than an exaggerated piece of print, because without this one player, who knows if Liverpool come from behind against Barcelona? Who knows if the Kop have that last gap moment against Everton? A lot of questions would remain unanswered without this one striker, who may not go down as the best player to feature in this era, but, perhaps just as crucially, one of the most defining in its success.
Perhaps one last moment; one last goal remains, too. It almost feels meant to be for Divock Origi to sign off with one more long-lasting memory…
BY TOM CUNNINGHAM
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