Divock Origi believes he is finally coming to terms with English football; and is desperate to keep making the most of his first-team opportunities under Jurgen Klopp.
Origi played only four of Liverpool’s first 11 matches under Brendan Rodgers since his arrival from Lille in the summer.
But Jurgen Klopp’s appointment in October has given the striker an opportunity to enjoy an increasingly prominent role, coming from the bench during last Sunday’s Capital One Cup final defeat to Manchester City and starting Wednesday’s 3-0 Premier League win against the same opponent.
Once he decided to join Liverpool he resisted several offers from other clubs, even one from a particularly persistent German that is Klopp, then in charge of Dortmund. “I knew they were interested but Liverpool were very keen and I had made up my mind by then.”
“At the beginning it was a time for me to adapt and now things are going better,” says Origi. “I have worked hard. I have learned a lot and am starting to see the profits.
“I’ve learned to adapt to the rhythm of the English game and the physical aspect also. It is a lot of things you have to learn when you are young.”
Origi is really keen to improve on his tally of five goals, starting at Selhurst Park for the League visit to Crystal Palace this afternoon.
“My aim personally is to maximise my game time. Any time I get, give everything and of course score goals.
“As a team, we have to go as high as possible. I think we have to look game by game and fight in every one like we did against City.
“If we fight like this I think we can move forward.”
Origi made it to the starting eleven in the Manchester City victory ahead of Christian Benteke, his eminent rival not only for a striking role in Liverpool but also with Belgium in the upcoming Euro 2016 finals.
“Everyone has his own way of football,” he says. “I had some difficult moments and he can have difficult moments as everyone can.
“Christian’s a different player and I can learn a lot from him. We just have to play for ourselves and make each other stronger.”
Divock is only 20 years old and hasn’t yet nailed down a place in the Liverpool starting eleven but he speaks with the quiet authority of someone who has actually seen a lot in football. And he really has, as it happens. The young striker has already scored the winning goal in a World Cup match, against Russia in Rio to secure Belgium’s berth in the second stage of 2014 World Cup, earning himself a recognition as Belgium’s young sportsman of the year in the process.