This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
One goal, 0.6 shots per game and 69% pass accuracy. Those don’t sound like the statistics of a game-changing super-sub, but for Liverpool, Divock Origi is everything they need him to be.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were not at their best on Saturday at Bramall Lane. The midfield created very little – the starting trio combined for just one key pass – and the front three were quiet, disjointed and at times wasteful (looking at you Sadio Mane).
After Origi’s introduction in the 63rd minute however, the Reds suddenly looked more threatening. The Belgian’s directness, skill and athleticism caused problems for the Sheffield United back five that the usual clever interplay from the front three simply wasn’t managing.
Despite only playing for half an hour, including extra time, the 24 year-old did a little bit of everything, including one particularly jaw-dropping piece of skill, which left some fans baffled.
that skill from Origi oh my
— alam (@hashtagMane) September 28, 2019
As well as completing that extremely aesthetically pleasing dribble, he also mustered one key pass, one shot and won two aerial duels, per WhoScored.
He did his part to help maintain the lead too, making one tackle and one clearance, which shows a maturity that he perhaps didn’t possess earlier in his fledgling career.
Put simply, the Belgium international touched the ball a mere 19 times, but was able to impact every facet of the game.
His capricious style throws a spanner in the works when defences have figured out how to stifle the Reds’ front three, which is all you really need when the rest of the XI has so much quality. He is far more individualistic than the usual starters, but he mixes things up and puts a few question marks in the back of defenders’ minds.
Is he a winger? Is he a centre forward? Is he an aerial threat? Is he going to run in behind? It’s hard to know what he’s going to do next because quite frankly we’re not even sure he knows.
If any Liverpool fans were concerned that Origi isn’t good enough to back up their electric star trio, then Saturday’s performance surely quashed those fears. The Belgian isn’t perfect, but his enigmatic mixture of raw talent and unpredictability leaves opposing teams baffled – just ask Barcelona.