Jurgen Klopp hailed one Liverpool player as a “legend” in a glowing appraisal that hinted at their January transfer plans – or lack thereof.
Liverpool looked destined to see a golden opportunity to leapfrog Chelsea slip on Saturday afternoon. Wolves repeatedly thwarted the Reds’ fearsome frontline and with 93 minutes played, the scores remained deadlocked.
Up stepped substitute Divock Origi when his sublime touch, swivel and snap shot sent Liverpool’s fans and coaching staff into raptures.
It was the latest in a long line of important goals the Belgian has scored in red, many of which have come in the final minutes or in big occasions.
Liverpool will be hoping Origi can produce those types of moments on a more regular basis in 2022 when Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane depart to the Africa Cup of Nations. The tournament will take place between January 9 to February 6. Naby Keita will also take part with Guinea.
One school of thought has suggested Liverpool could dip into the January transfer window in search of a stop-gap solution.
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However, if Klopp’s comments after the Wolves win are anything to go by, he is more than happy to let Origi fill the void.
Klopp said (via the Liverpool Echo): “We had to keep going and, yeah, Divock Origi, the legend, came and finished it off for us. I love it!
“He is an incredible finisher and if we don’t know it at Liverpool then who should know it? We saw that so often.
“It is difficult to get 500 minutes a week in the team because of the players we have.
“But Divock Origi is an incredible football player. He is great in these moments.
“He doesn’t need a lot of run up, he doesn’t need a lot of time to get into a game, especially not in this game today.
“It was his game, he could be Divock Origi 100%. In and around the box, use your body, use your technique, finish the situations off.
“He was unlucky with the ball before, he was involved in a lot of good moments and was a threat before he scored. This kind of goal we see plenty of times in training.
“Winning in the 95th minute is great but when Div scores the goal it makes it even better.”
Even without Salah and Mane, Liverpool will have Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Origi and Takumi Minamino to choose from.
Origi had been strongly linked with a move away over the summer, and Klopp previously admitted his surprise that concrete offers failed to materialise.
Reaffirming that point, Klopp again cut a bemused figure as to why other sides don’t rate Origi high enough to lodge adequate bids.
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“If I would be in another club I would go for him,” he said (via the Liverpool Echo). “I thought that would happen because he didn’t have fantastic game time.
“But I cannot believe if you don’t play for Liverpool, you cannot be good. This team is outstanding, and if you are here and are number 12 or 13 or 14, you are outstanding.
“I am very happy he is still here! I didn’t expect it to happen but I wouldn’t have been surprised (had he left).
“He’s a top striker, top boy. That is how it is. He has been for a long time here at Liverpool. He has scored some of the most important goals in the history of this club.”