John Barnes: What Liverpool should expect from Divock Origi
The Liverpool legend delivers his verdict on Divock Origi ahead of Monday's Merseyside derby
John Barnes believes Divock Origi could blossom into Liverpool’s long-term number nine.
The Belgium international has been drafted into the Liverpool side in recent weeks after Philippe Coutinho suffered a serious ankle injury during a 2-0 victory over Sunderland at Anfield last month.
Origi scored his first Premier League goal of the 2016-17 season against the Black Cats to help Jurgen Klopp’s side seal three points.
The 21-year-old has since scored four times in four games in all competitions, including his second-half strike in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
Origi agreed to a £12m move to Liverpool from Lille in 2014 before the Belgian striker returned to the Ligue 1 side on loan for the duration of the 2014-15 season.
Former Liverpool midfielder Barnes is keen to avoid putting too much pressure on Origi in the short-term but the ex Reds captain believes Origi does have a bright future at Anfield.
“With Daniel Sturridge being injured and Coutinho being out, Origi has had some starts,” Barnes said, speaking exclusively to The Sport Review.
“He’s a young boy and I hope he’s going to be here for a long time. Of course, he’s done well but I don’t think necessarily that Jurgen Klopp would look at the situation and say, ‘well, let’s play him every week now because he’s going to score 30 goals a season’.
“I think that we have to stop looking long-term, we have to look at what we need right now.
“Hopefully, Divock Origi can be part of the squad, and in years to come he will improve and then maybe he can become Liverpool’s number nine in the long-term.”
Liverpool signed seven players in the summer transfer window after the Reds finished in eighth place last term.