Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Tuesday July 29 2014
Belgium international striker Divock Origi is now officially a Liverpool player after his move from Lille was finalised...
Hot on the heels of signing Dejan Lovren on Sunday, Liverpool have upped their summer tally of new recruits to six with the capture of Divock Origi from Lille.
The 19-year-old, who had been with the Merseysiders in America over the past few days, has signed a long-term contract after successfully agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, unlike fellow forward Loic Remy.
Despite a sizeable fee of around £10m, Origi, as expected, will spend next season on-loan with his previous employers as part of the deal.
Speaking moments after being officially declared a Red, the talented frontman revealed: "I am very, very happy and delighted a club as big as Liverpool showed interest in me. I'm very excited.
"I know it's a club with a great history, great fans and a lot of great players. For me, Liverpool is one of the greatest clubs in the world and I'm very excited to be part of this great history."
Securing Origi's signature is viewed as a big coup by Kop boss Brendan Rodgers who believes the teenager is potentially 'world class'.
"For me, he can be one of the most exciting talents in world football," commented the 41-year-old to Liverpoolfc.com. "I genuinely believe that.
"You see a lot of good players, but this kid - for 19 years of age - he burst onto the scene at the World Cup, but we'd tracked him before that, we'd seen him as a young player playing in the youth internationals. He has everything to be world class.
"He's super fast, has a wonderful touch, he's a good size and is aggressive. What I like, and what I have in other players, is that humility to work hard.
"I've seen enough of him over the course of the last couple of seasons to think this is a kid who, coming into the right environment, can genuinely be world class."
Origi, who made five appearances for Belgium during this summer's World Cup and now has eight full international caps to his name, began his career in the youth ranks of Genk before moving to Lille in 2010.
After marking his senior debut with a goal against Troyes in February 2013, Origu has gone onto find the net a further five times in Ligue 1.
His capture takes Liverpool's spending up to the £90m mark but, with £75m recouped through the sale of Luis Suarez, it is unlikely to be the end of the club's transfer activity during this window.
I was very impressed by Origi's performances in Brazil. He might be a little raw but all the basic building blocks - ability, technique, athleticism etc - appear to be in place; they just needs harnessing. Rodgers has already proven himself adept at nurturing young talent and, if he can maximise Origi's undoubted potential, £10m will soon be seen as an absolute bargain. I assume letting him stay with Lille for an extra season was non-negotiable because he certainly would have seen game time at Anfield had he joined straight away. It seems likely therefore that Liverpool will be eyeing another forward addition in the coming weeks.
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Date:Tuesday July 29 2014
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