Michael Owen insists Divock Origi should not be hugging Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool snubs
Liverpool v Villarreal: Match in Pictures
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Michael Owen says he cannot understand why Divock Origi is happy to embrace Jurgen Klopp while he continues to be left out of the starting XI at Liverpool. The Belgian was seen hugging his manager after scoring from the bench in their 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Origi also came off the bench against Villarreal for a brief cameo in the Reds’ Champions League semi-final victory over Villarreal on Wednesday, but did not have much time to score after only entering the field on 81 minutes.
The striker has chipped in with a number of important strikes over the years from the bench, namely his famous double against Barcelona in 2018-19, his goal in the 2019 Champions League final win over Tottenham, and a late winner in the Merseyside derby which was crucial to their title triumph in 2019-20. However, the 27-year-old has been limited to just five starts in all competitions and none in the Premier League this season.
That is despite the fact he has managed to score seven goals in all competitions, proving himself as one of the most effective players from the bench. Klopp labelled Origi as “world-class” after his strike against the Toffees, indicating the pair maintain a solid relationship.
But as the two were seen hugging at the final whistle at Anfield at the weekend, Owen called into question why Origi would be satisfied with his treatment from his manager. And the former Reds frontman, now working as a pundit, insists he would never behave in the same way.
“If I was a centre-forward and I came on so many times to save my manager, yet he never played me and he only brought me on occasionally, then I wouldn’t be giving the manager such a big cuddle,” he told Premier League Productions. “You just know how much that man means to all of those Liverpool players and how much it means to those fans.”
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Klopp has an array of attacking talents at his disposal, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz all fit to play, and that has left Origi out in the cold. The German admits it is unacceptable that the Anfield “legend” does not make the squad on occasion and hailed his professionalism for contributing whenever he is needed.
“We will never miss a player like him because if he leaves, he will explode wherever he goes. He is a world-class striker, he is a legend and will stay a legend forever,” Klopp said after Sunday’s victory. “He doesn’t always make the squad which is ridiculous, but he is there when we need him every time. He was involved in both games; everything that we did in the second half, without Divock, wouldn’t have happened.”
With Liverpool aiming for an unprecedented quadruple, it seems likely that Origi will get more game time before the end of the season. But if Klopp continues to leave out the cult hero, it could cost him a reliable member of his squad when the summer transfer window opens.
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