Origi’s Liverpool career under threat from Belgian teammate


It would be somewhat ironic if the man whose absence from the 2014 World Cup, which allowed Divock Origi to shine on the grandest stage, ends up putting the kybosh on his Liverpool career just as it finally starts.

Origi seizin his chance for Belgium last summer earned himself a Reds switch in the process, albeit a delayed one, as his club Lille were intent on utilising the 19-year-old for a further season.

Now the wait is over and Liverpool can at last integrate their £10m signing, Christian Benteke’s fiercely-speculated over arrival could act as an unwanted obstacle to first-team action for Origi.

While it will be pleasant to converse in his native tongue with Benteke, the comparative price tags and reputations will almost certainly ensure it’s the Aston Villa player who is preferred to lead the line.

The main problem is the compatriots share similar attributes, making the powerful centre-forwards direct competitors to play at the apex of a front three.

Origi’s superior pace does lend itself to the possibility of a wide-forward berth, but in what is currently shaping up to be the Premier League’s most oversubscribed attack, space in the starting XI is at a premium.

That is putting it quite mildly in fact. Even if the likes of Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini are carted off, in theory Origi will be battling Mario Balotelli, Daniel Sturridge (when fit), Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho,Roberto Firmino, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Ibe, Lazar Markovic and possibly James Milner for a berth.

Brendan Rodgers must be forming a picture in his head of how he best sees his 2/1-rated top-four shots lining up in 2015/16, but as it stands the mathematics aren’t quite tallying.

It could be that the Benteke trail comes to naught, but if Villa’s talisman does make his desired Liverpool switch he can expect a handshake rather than a hug from his countryman.

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