Divock Origi was labelled Serie A’s “worst signing of the season” after a report revealed what’s gone wrong, while another source claimed he could be pushed out by a Leeds Utd target in January.
The Belgian striker, 27, will forever be fondly remembered on Merseyside for his big-game heroics. Origi’s appearances at Liverpool were few and far between, but on the rare occasions he did play, he made it count.
Indeed, he left Liverpool as a free agent in the summer having scored six goals against local rivals Everton.
His Champions League exploits in 2019 when scoring twice in the 4-0 comeback against Barcelona and again in the final will never be forgotten.
Regardless, Origi’s time at Anfield was up and hopes were high he’d finally feature regularly upon joining AC Milan.
However, he’s played just four times for the Rossoneri thus far, with each appearances coming from the bench.
That led to Italian journalist Alvise Cagnazzo branding his arrival a “disaster” and Serie A’s “worst signing of the season” after just one month.
Explaining why he’s taken such a strong stance, Cagnazzo stated in the Daily Mail that injury issues are hampering Origi at every turn.
Muscle fatigue prevented his first Milan start against Sampdoria on Saturday, September 10. Niggling injuries have prevented further minutes on the pitch, though when he has played, he’s reportedly been “poor”.
Origi is actually one of Milan’s younger options in the final third. They have Olivier Giroud (35) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (40) on the books.
However, the journalist added Origi is the one presenting manager Stefano Pioli with the “most issues” so far.
Cagnazzo concluded Pioli is beginning to understand why Origi was allowed to leave Liverpool for nothing.
Leeds target could oust Origi in January?
While that may sound overly critical with the season only six weeks old, Italian outlet Calciomercato suggest Milan are indeed dismayed with what they’ve signed.
They report that ‘thanks to Origi’s ailments’, AC are considering buying a new striker in January.
Two targets are named – Lille’s Jonathan David and Leeds Utd target, Noah Okafor.
The latter, 22, plies his trade for RB Salzburg and has attracted the attention of Leeds, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
The Red Bull organisation has proved fertile hunting ground for Leeds in the market. Through their Jesse Marsch connection, the Whites added Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen to their ranks this summer – all from Red Bull clubs.
Okafor’s current deal in Salzburg is due to expire in 2024. A 2023 sale may therefore be in the Austrian side’s mind, and it appears there’ll be no shortage of suitors.
The Switzerland international has bagged seven goals in 12 appearances this season, including two in two in the Champions League.
AC Milan must show patience
It’s increasingly common to jump to conclusions these days, especially regarding whether a new signing is a flop or not.
While it’s fair to say Origi hasn’t caught fire just yet, Milan would be unwise to sever ties so soon.
Indeed, Giroud and Ibrahimovic do not have long left at the top given their respective ages. What’s more, fellow forward Rafael Leao continues to draw links with a move away, primarily to Chelsea.
Milan’s forward line could assume a whole new look over the next 10 months. Origi may find his importance growing as a result.