Divock Origi knows he is far from the finished article but is confident he can step up for Liverpool in the absence of Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge is likely to be sidelined for a number of weeks after sustaining a hamstring strain in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle, a match in which Christan Benteke cut an ineffective figure.
Origi, arguably, is the club’s most in-form player after a hat-trick in last week’s Capital One Cup demolition of Southampton, but he acknowledges he is some way down the pecking order at Anfield.
“To prove yourself you have to prove yourself over the longer term, not just one game,” the 20-year-old said.
“When I came here everyone was clear about what they expected from me: to become a top player, but there are already top players in the team so I don’t have to ask myself too many questions.
“I am still young so I have to bring my enthusiasm to the game, believe and help the team in this way.
“I always have belief. I know I have a lot to learn and I have to progress a lot.
“When I see the other players playing I can see they have experience – it is normal with their age – so for me the most important thing is for me to work hard and learn a lot. That is the main focus for me.
“I am happy I am at this club – I am here for a reason. Whenever the team or coach needs me I am ready.
“I hope to be [playing] more from now, but in football you never know.”
Origi confident hard work will pay off
Origi’s role as Belgium’s first-choice striker at the 2014 World Cup, the summer he was signed by Liverpool, meant he arrived at Anfield with significant expectation on his shoulders, although that was dimmed slightly by his immediate return to former club Lille on a season-long loan.
The youngster accepts it has taken time for him to settle in England, but he does not doubt his ability.
“I played in a quarter-final as a main striker; all the teams playing in the quarter-finals at that time had a main striker who was a top striker.
“So it is normal people expect more, but I was still the same player I was the month before the World Cup and I had to learn mentally and in every way really quick.
“But for me it was good because I know I am strong and I can beat this and I’ve learned hard work pays off.”
It may be his youthful inexperience, but Origi comes across as exceptionally mild-mannered, almost at odds with the psyche of a 6ft 2in striker.
Such were his exceptional manners he was happy to concede one of his hat-trick goals to defender Alberto Moreno despite him applying the slightest final touch in front of goal.
“I think as a striker the most important thing is to make the right decision,” he said.
“Selfish is a word that is maybe too precise. When you are confident you have to try more and take responsibility and have a better feeling.
“I can score goals and help the team in my way. I have no questions in my head.”