Does Divock Origi have a future at Liverpool?
Origi scored a last-minute winner in the Merseyside derby, where Liverpool were lucky to beat Everton 1-0. This was Origi's first goal for the Reds since May 2017. But where does his future lie at Liverpool?
Last season the Belgian went to the Bundesliga and joined VFL Wolfsburg on a season-long loan. Wolfsburg didn't fair too well and ended up in the relegation playoff, which they won 4-1 on aggregate against Holstein Kiel. Origi scored and also got an assist in the first leg of the relegation playoff.
Wolfsburg's 16th place finish mirrors Origi's performance last season. He was a main feature in the German side last season making 31 appearances with only nine of these being as a substitute. His performances were below what was expected of him but so were Wolfsburg's. The 23-year-old scored six goals and managed two assists in the Bundesliga last season.
He arrived back at Melwood after his loan ended and played a part in Liverpool's pre-season tour of USA. He made four appearances in pre-season.
Origi has only played 18 minutes for Liverpool this season, including six in the derby win. He finds himself down the pecking order at the club and is unlikely to see a large amount of game time.
The Belgian at the age of 23 has some decisions to make about what's going to be best for his career.
Option 1: Fight for his place
His minutes have been minuscule this season but that goal against Everton is massive. He's scored in each of his last three Merseyside derbies showing he shows up in big games. Due to the goal being such a big deal in such a big game, this may have changed Klopp's opinion on him.
If he can prove himself to Klopp, the fans and the rest of the club; he may be able to fight for his place. Goals would be the main factor in this; if he can come off the bench and score goals in big games, like Everton, he could change the opinion surrounding him.
In a long season, someone who is another option and can stick the ball in the back of the net could be the difference between trophies and no trophies. If Origi can do this he could, with the help of Sturridge from the bench, be this game changer for the Reds.
Option 2: Prove himself on loan
Another option for him is to spend another year or 6 months away from the club. After his time away with Wolfsburg playing regular football it will be disappointing for him coming back to Liverpool and finding his game time so limited.
Should the club be willing to give him another loan spell he could go out to a side playing in the top 5 leagues in Europe and maybe even in the Europa League. This way if he gets signed by a club who are willing to give him regular minutes, and can grab some goals, the way he's thought of at the club could improve even further than it has after this weekend's heroics.
If he does go out on loan, when he arrives back, Edwards and Klopp could then sit down with him and based on his performances decide whether he has a future in red.
Option 3: Leave Liverpool for the good of his career
He may have dispelled the negativity around him after his heroic derby winner but it may not be enough for Klopp and his coaches to give him more of a shot at regular playing time.
At 23 years of age, he is about to enter the best years of his career and the Belgian international probably doesn't want these years to be spent warming the Liverpool bench.
Teams like Wolves and Besiktas have both been linked with him in January. Both moves would make sense for Origi.
If he was to join Espirito Santo at Wolves he would likely be a starter in a Premier League side where he could showcase his talents.
Also if he was to go to Turkey and join Besiktas, he would be playing regular football in a European competition and if he could showcase his quality he could move back to a top European club in the future.
Whatever decision is made over Origi, it needs to be carefully thought about.