Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has, along with the player himself, consistently denied speculation that Liverpool would bring 19-year-old striker Divock Origi back from his season-long loan in France.
“The young player we signed last summer, it was always on the understanding that he had to stay at Lille,” Rodgers said back in November. “I’ve seen reports that he’ll be coming back early but that was never the case. When we signed the player, it was one of the main reasons we were able to sign him — he would have to stay at Lille for this season.
“The deal was put in place quite clearly in the summer that he would stay at Lille for the season, and then we would get him after that. As far as I’m concerned, that’s still the case.”
Despite this, it appears they very well may bring him to Anfield this month anyways. According to reports by both James Pierce of the Liverpool Echo and Sven Claes with HLN in Origi’s native Belgium, Liverpool is currently in talks to cancel the loan deal and bring him back to Anfield this month.
According to the report by Pierce, Liverpool is willing to spend up to $4.6 million to cancel the loan early and bring him back to his parent club. Origi was initially signed by Liverpool in the summer from Lille for around $14.5 million, and the deal stated he would remain at Lille for one more season, officially on a season-long loan.
Origi broke onto the scene with Lille in the second half of last season, scoring his first goal of the year on February 8 in just his third start and first since the previous August. He remained in the starting lineup, and finished the season with five goals and earned himself a place on the Belgian World Cup squad.
However, since then, Origi has struggled mightily in France. He has just three goals in Ligue 1 play, and hasn’t scored since September 27, although he’s maintained his starting place throughout. Lille as a whole is also struggling, currently languishing in 13th following last year’s third-place finish in Ligue 1. The club also finished last in its Europa League group, behind Everton, Wolfsburg, and FC Krasnodar with just four points.
Both parties have insisted throughout this process that Origi would stay in France all season, with the youngster tweeting that message back in November.
The tweets read: “I just wanted to clarify after today’s press reports that I will continue to give my all and 100 per cent for Lille over the coming months. I am very much looking forward to joining Liverpool from next season.”
With Daniel Sturridge continuing to suffer setbacks on his various injuries and Liverpool struggling for goals, compounded with Origi’s struggles in France, the club has apparently decided the right move would be to bring him to England now and allow him to begin to acclimate himself to the Premier League now.