Liverpool striker Divock Origi insists another magical Merseyside Derby moment is not a given.
The 27-year-old was involved in Andy Robertson’s crucial opener just minutes after coming on as a substitute, before scoring his sixth goal in nine games late against Everton.
Despite his lack of playing time, Origi has become something of a cult hero for fans as, alongside his derby contributions, he played a huge part in their 2019 Champions League win after scoring twice in their famous semi-final comeback against Barcelona, before he found the net against Tottenham in the final.
However, his days at Anfield appear to be numbered as his contract expires this summer as he will not have played enough games to trigger a one-year extension.
The Belgium international has made just five starts in 16 appearances this season, including just one since early December and his last inclusion in a Premier League first-team 15 months ago.
He has still made important contributions, with a 90th-minute winner against Wolves in December, followed by the goal that secured a record six out of six Champions League group stage wins three days later.
His close-range header against Everton, from almost the same spot he scored in the sixth minute of added time for the derby winners in December 2018, was another to endear him to fans, who mixed his expected departure with it will face feelings.
“It’s incredible. To be honest, I don’t take it for granted,” Origi, who attracted interest from Atalanta in January while Lazio, Juventus and AC Milan are now all set to keep an eye on him, told liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s such a pleasure to be able to play football at the highest level, to win these games – it means so much to the club, it means so much to me.
“After the game you can look back (and) be happy, but especially now. Grab it, bag it and take it to the next game and hopefully keep the momentum going.
Given Origi’s history, it would come as no surprise for him to play a crucial role in the club’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple and he is fully prepared for it.
“For me as a player, it’s about staying ready: try to put in extra work to improve what you might have missed playing time and then come in and make games,” he added.
“You can’t know before the game what’s going to happen, you can just prepare as best you can and once you know you’re well prepared you can come in and enjoy the game.
“That happened (against Everton) and obviously the goals help the team, that’s the most important thing.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp has regularly praised his winger and even joked he could write a book about the Belgian’s exploits at Anfield.
“He’s a legend on and off the pitch. He’s a fantastic footballer for me,” said the Reds coach.
“I know that sounds ridiculous because I don’t string them together very often. He’s a world-class striker, he’s definitely our best finisher; he always was and everyone would say the same thing.
“When you see him doing something like that in training and then he’s not in the squad because of the quality of the other players, it’s really tough.
“Everyone loves Div and rightly so. He was again very decisive and I am very happy for him.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/its-unbelievable-liverpools-divock-origi-wont-take-derby-goal-for-granted-41584854.html It’s incredible – Liverpool’s Divock Origi won’t take the derby goal for granted