Liverpool arrive at right moment to let go of Divock Origi – Liverpool Echo

Divock Origi has been here before at Liverpool.

During his loan spell at Wolfsburg in 2018, shortly before his remarkable comeback as a Champions League hero, there were suggestions he could be moved on.

But this time feels different.

Liverpool, it is claimed, are open to offers for his signature as the January transfer window pulls into focus and the timing – to be blunt – could not be more perfect.

Origi is less than 18 months into the long-term contract he penned after his European heroics against Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur and, at 25, he is the ideal age for Michael Edwards to squeeze every penny out of in a potential deal.

Liverpool are, for the time being, well-stocked in his position too. Although they lack a traditional out-and-out striker, the arrival of Diogo Jota means Jurgen Klopp is spoiled for choice when selecting his front-three.

With Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri also in reserve – along with exciting strike prospects Layton Stewart and Paul Glatzel impressing for the under-23s – the sale of Origi would not leave a glaring hole in his squad by any means.

The Belgian will be keen to keep himself in the thoughts of national team manager Roberto Martinez ahead of the rescheduled Euro 2020 and his playing time at Anfield has been dramatically reduced since the start of the season.

He has featured for just one minute in the Premier League while starting three games in total. One of those was against Lincoln City in the EFL Trophy, in a team that also featured Harvey Elliott and Rhys Williams.

His last start came at the end of November, in the dismal defeat at home to Atalanta in the Champions League. Hooked on the hour mark, it was hard not to assume the writing is on the wall for him at Liverpool.

But does a parting of the ways have to be considered a bad thing? It simply feels like Origi and Liverpool have reached their natural conclusion, and the club can make a healthy profit while Origi secures playing time elsewhere.

He would leave a hero, a cult figure. Some might even call him a legend for his contributions not only to Champions League number six, but also his four goals – and 28 appearances – en route to a maiden Premier League title last term.

“I had to trust my instinct,” Origi said after signing his new contract when asked about how close he actually came to leaving Liverpool the previous summer. “I wanted to be part of this team.”

Perhaps his instinct might tell him something else this time.

He has delivered for Liverpool on the biggest stages over the last two years, and maybe – just maybe – there is another Origi comeback in store to surprise us all.

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Or perhaps the end really is nigh. He would depart as a memory-maker for so many and would be guaranteed a heroic reception if he returned to Anfield in rival colours.

Origi has been here before. But maybe the difference now is Liverpool. With Jota and Minamino arriving, Klopp appears to have moved on from his tried and trusted super-sub. 

Klopp banked an initial £19m for the sale of Dominic Solanke to Bournemouth in 2019 and Liverpool would be hopeful, you would think, of securing more than that for Origi.

Whether the manager would be prepared to lose one of his players in such a demanding campaign midway through the term remains to be seen but at this stage, the striker seeing out the rest of his long-term deal look slim.

A parting of the ways feels inevitable, and not many would argue that it does not make sense for everyone involved.