Liverpool ‘legend’ Divock Origi is the perfect example of Jurgen Klopp’s brilliant man-management at Anfield, according to former Reds star Stan Collymore.
The Belgian’s contract expires at the end of this month and Liverpool have announced he will be heading for pastures new. Origi has earned himself cult hero status with supporters after scoring 41 goals in 175 appearances., with nine of them in particular — the six he scored in Merseyside derbies against Everton, two against Barcelona in the famous 2019 Champions League comeback and another in the final victory over Tottenham — writing him into club folklore.
Collymore said: “Divock Origi departs Liverpool a legend. The player and the club can feel very good about each other as they part ways because of the goal in the Champions League final against Spurs.
“He leaves being able to say, ‘I contributed and I contributed massively’. I know he has scored goals against Everton and the way his role has harked back to ‘Supersub’ himself, David Fairclough. But the Champions League final goal was the one that cemented him into club folklore.
“On top of that, Origi epitomises Jurgen Klopp’s man-management of players. Every time Klopp has been asked about Origi, he has said, ‘He’s a legend’, and it has been great man-management. It was the manager’s way of saying, ‘You are involved, you are part of it’.
“Part of management is sometimes being able to say to players, ‘Look, I know I’m not picking you and that in itself says there’s someone who is better than you for the vast majority of the time. Sometimes maybe there are several better players. But I still need you to play your part’.
“This is modern football and not only is it based on what Klopp sees when Origi is getting minutes in games, but also in his day-to-day interactions with the player at the training ground. The fact Klopp kept him so involved, not just in the striking group but also trusted him when he hadn’t played a lot to come in and do damage, tells you a lot about the manager’s pied-piper traits that keep everyone satisfied.
“Origi is left thinking, ’Okay, when I came to Liverpool I was probably expected to be the next big thing and that didn’t happen but, bloody hell, if you’re going to be second best and win everything there is to win, contributing as well, then I’ll take that’.”
His first year as a Liverpool player saw him loaned back to Lille and he later had a season with German outfit Wolfsburg. He is one of seven leaving Liverpool this summer, with Loris Karius, Sheyi Ojo, Ben Woodburn and three academy players also departing.