Divock Origi will not be arriving at Liverpool this January, despite another injury blow for current Reds striker Daniel Sturridge.
The Merseyside giants are struggling to find the form which saw them finish second in the Premier League last season, not least because of the summer departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. The absence of Sturridge has also been a huge blow for Brendan Rodgers, who was sent reeling this week by the news that the England international will be sidelined until the New Year.
“He’s a player who doesn’t want to be out for this length of time,” said Rodgers of Sturridge, who has been troubled with calf and thigh problems. “He’s just been extremely unfortunate. He’s as down as I’ve ever seen him. There is no-one more frustrated than him at this point in time. He’ll go away in the New Year and hopefully find the answers to help him perform at Liverpool.”
This leaves Liverpool with just three options up front, yet all of them are out of form. Mario Balotelli cost £16million when he joined from, but he has yet to score in the Premier League in 710 minutes. Rickie Lambert was another new arrival, from Southampton, but he too has not opened his account, and the same can be said of Fabio Borini who has returned from a loan spell at Sunderland.
Even before the news on Sturridge it had been suggested that Origi, the Belgian international could make a sooner than expected move to Anfield. Rodgers spent £10million of his summer budget on the 19-year-old, but agreed to let him spend the season on loan at Lille. The teenager has recently revealed he would be happy to move to England before the end of the campaign, but the Reds coach has now revealed that the player will remain at Stade Pierre-Mauroy as planned.
“It was never the case of bringing him in early,” said Rodgers.” The discussion last summer was that he had to stay. That was one of the reasons we got him. There has been a lot of speculation but the deal was in place that we would get him for next season. He is a young player we signed last summer and it was on agreement he had to stay at Lille. As far as I’m concerned that’s still the case with Origi.”
Liverpool currently lie in 11th place in the table, already a staggering 15 points behind leaders Chelsea. A top-four finish has to be the objective for Rodgers’ side this season to ensure they remain in the UEFA Champions League, so a win against Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon will be the requirement as they look to bounce back from successive league defeats.
If Origi can’t join in January, should Liverpool return to the transfer market for a new striker? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.