Liverpool owned Lille-loanee Divock Origi’s stock has arguably risen another notch in the past week, with a blistering performance for Belgium in their Euro 2016 qualifier with Andorra.
Origi played for 66 minutes in the 6-0 demolition, scoring once and hitting the woodwork with another two chances. The performance led Belgium captain Vincent Kompany to label the 19-year-old as a “monster”.
Add this to four goals already this season for Lille and it is understandable why Liverpool may want to have him back at Anfield in January from his loan spell, especially with Mario Balotelli taking longer than Brendan Rodgers would have preferred to settle back into the Premier League.
Balotelli is 4/1 to open the scoring in Liverpool’s next top-flight encounter away at QPR.
What is interesting is that stats from whoscored.com suggest that Origi isn’t actually performing any better this season than the Italian.
He has scored more club goals, but it is worth remembering that two of his four Lille strikes thus far have come via the penalty spot.
Meanwhile, although the Belgian is more clinical, firing in three shots less than Balotelli on average per game, this could be read as suggesting he doesn’t get into the same quality of goalscoring positions as his fellow striker.
Origi is also fouled far less and is dispossessed more frequently, suggesting he will be worse than Balotelli when it comes to maintaining possession.
The pair are virtually identical in terms of how often they pass to teammates and the success level of these passes, while their defensive contributions are similar.
Going purely on World Cup stats, Origi ran an extra 25 metres every minute than Balotelli and this additional workrate would certainly help a Liverpool team that likes to press high up the pitch and win back possession in the final third.
Taking everything into consideration, Liverpool would have a forward with greater aaplication if bringing Origi back in January, but in terms of his other contributions, he wouldn’t be any different to Balotelli based on their performances so far this season.