Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has praised Divock Origi for battling away to secure his future at the club after making a decisive impact last season.
The 24-year-old arrived at Anfield in 2014, but after featuring prominently in his first two seasons with the Merseyside giants, he saw his playing time drastically drop thereafter.
Having been loaned out to Wolfsburg in the 2017/18 campaign, question marks were perhaps raised over whether or not he would have a future at Liverpool, but he has certainly answered those with key goals for Jurgen Klopp’s side this past season.
From his late heroics in the Premier League to goals against Barcelona and Tottenham in the Champions League semi-final and final respectively, the Belgian forward has earned his place in the squad and Mellor was keen to lavish him with praise for showing the determination to stay at Liverpool when perhaps it could have been easy to grow frustrated and look elsewhere.
“[Jurgen] Klopp brought him on against Everton at Anfield with six minutes to go and he scored the winner in the 96th minute. Look what has happened since,” former Reds striker Mellor told the official Liverpool FC magazine.
“He came on to score the winner at Newcastle, netted twice in the 4-0 semi-final comeback against Barcelona and has now scored for Liverpool in a Champions League final victory.
“That is a huge moment for any player so it is credit to him for not giving up on being a Liverpool player. He will have seen, while out on loan, that it’s not great when you leave Liverpool so has proved he is desperate to stay here.
“That has been reflected in the big moments he’s had.”
Having now proven his worth, Origi will be expected to stay at Anfield next season to offer more quality depth, especially with Daniel Sturridge set to leave with his current contract set to expire at the end of the month.
While he’ll likely continue to have a difficult time in displacing Roberto Firmino in the starting line-up, Klopp will surely relish knowing that he can bring Origi off the bench or rotate and have faith in him to do the job required.