- LocationOstend, Belgium
- Squad Number27
Liverpool landed one of Europe’s hottest young properties in July 2014 when they swooped to sign Divock Origi from Lille.
The promising forward was immediately loaned back to the French club for a season, but the Reds were delighted to secure his services having tracked him since his days playing for Belgium U15s.
In completing the deal, Liverpool beat competition from other Barclays Premier League and European clubs for his signature.
He will start his Liverpool career for the 2015-16 season.
Divock’s path towards the game seemed inevitable, given his father, Mike, was a Kenyan international who lifted a league title with Genk, while cousin Arnold is currently a custodian on the books of Lillestrom and has also represented Kenya more than 25 times.
Born in the Belgian town of Ostend in 1995, Origi began his footballing journey in the youth teams of Genk.
A powerful presence – even at academy level – he attracted interest from abroad, and in the summer of 2010 he made the move to France to join Lille, where he’d continue his development in their second string set-up.
Meanwhile, Origi was already a regular in his national side’s youth teams, having representing every age group from U15 upwards after being first called up in 2009. Indeed, such was his progression, he turned out for the Red Devils’ U19s in 2012, even though he was two years younger than many of his teammates.
A senior bow for Lille duly arrived in February 2013 when he came off the bench to score within six minutes against Troyes, aged just 17 years and 10 months.
Origi made nine more appearances that season, but it was last term in which his career really began to take flight – a goal on the opening weekend of Ligue 1 against Lorient marking the start of his surge towards the World Cup finals.
Such performances served to rubber stamp a rapidly growing stature within the game – as did efforts in successive games against Sochaux and Evian in February 2014.
He followed that brace up with strikes against Monaco and Valenciennes to end the campaign with five goals to his name and help Lille to a third-place finish.
Origi was named in Belgium’s World Cup squad at the finale of the season to replace the injured Christian Benteke, and made his international debut in a pre-tournament warm-up contest with Luxembourg soon after.
Out in Brazil, he then hit the headlines when he grabbed a late winner to decide a tight contest with Russia in the group stage.
There was rumoured to be much interest in the tall forward following his performances on world football’s biggest stage, but it was Liverpool who moved to snap him up.
Origi remained with Lille in 2014-15 to gain more first-team experience, showing Reds fans what they have to look forward to with a hat-trick against Rennais in March 2015. He will begin training at Melwood in July 2015.