Is Divock Origi a future star?
At 21 years old, and clocking in at 6 feet 165 pounds, Divock Origi is slightly above average when it comes to weight and size for most professional players. However, he does some very above average things. But alas, when you’re the son of Mike Origi, it’s fair to have a lot expected of you. Mike was a Kenyan player, starting in goal and making the incredible switch up to striker.
He would leave Kenya to play in the Belgian professional leagues, playing most of his time with Racing Club Genk, the club Divock would start his career with. The younger Origi would start playing in the Genk youth program, and move his way up until he signed with French side Lille at age 15. He scored his first goal three years later, and it brought some big name attention. In 2014 Liverpool and Lille agreed on a 10 million pound deal, bringing the 19-year-old to Merseyside. Liverpool knew he was young, however, and loaned him back to Lille for the following season. Origi went on to score 4 goals that season, including a hat-trick against Stade Rennais. At this point, former Liverpool, and current Celtic FC, manager Brendan Rodgers decided Origi was ready for the Premier League.
In July of 2015, Divock Origi was named to the 30-man roster for Liverpool’s tour of the Oceanic region. In his first game for the club, he scored a goal in their 4-0 win over Thailand Allstars. Over the course of the season, he would be used as a substitute, understandably, for starting striker Daniel Sturridge. Origi would score his first competitive goal for Liverpool in December of that year, netting a hat-trick against Southampton in a 6-1 League Cup victory.
His first Premier League goal would come later that month against West Bromwich Albion to save a point for Liverpool. By this time, former FC Mainz and Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp had taken over for Brendan Rodgers and seemed to have more of a liking for Origi than Rodgers had. Klopp thought Origi had some serious potential and, so far, he’s been right. In 16 appearances in the 2015/16 season, Origi had five goals, and so far this season, which is almost half over, in 13 appearances he’s found the net five more times, in all competitions. One thing to really pay attention to is that in 29 appearances in all competitions in the last two seasons, 19 have been substitutions. Sound familiar? Could Divock Origi be the next Chicharito?
For those not familiar, Javier Hernandez, or Chicharito as his jersey wears and as he is more commonly known, is a Mexican professional player, and currently, plays for German side Bayer Leverkusen. He is most known, however, for his play at Manchester United. Hernandez played at United for four years, from 2010-2014. Hernandez, like Origi, came off the bench quite often. In his time at United, excluding the 2014/15 season where he was loaned to Real Madrid after three games, Hernandez was a substitute in 115 games out of 132.
That means that Hernandez spent 87% of his games in the Premier League coming off the bench. In those 132 games, he only had 33 goals. Not very impressive finishing for the secrecy United went through to get him. Regardless of how Hernandez was acquired by United, he became something of a running joke for United detractors: the “super-sub”, touted by United who really did nothing for the squad. Is Divock Origi on the same path?
It’s possible. Origi, while having been a substitute in nine more games than a starter the past two seasons, has a mere 9 goals to show for his 29 appearances. Of course, his four goals this season have come in the last five games, a bit of a hot streak for the young Belgian. But if there’s one thing Hernandez is famous for, it was his on and off play.
Hernandez would go weeks without seeing a headline, and then for a small stretch off games, it seemed like newspapers couldn’t get enough of his name. It’s hard to tell Origi’s future just yet, given this is only his second season in the Premier League. In his time with Liverpool, and with Belgium, he’s looked to be a solid player who could garner some real playing time if his scoring streak continues. It’s definitely a waiting game, to see how he develops, and the rest of this season and next will be incredibly important in deciding what kind of player he is: up and coming star, or just another “super-sub”.