Liverpool striker Divock Origi features prominently on Atletico Madrid’s striker shortlist should they fail in their bid to bring Chelsea’s Diego Costa back to Vicente Calderon this summer, accordion to Bleacher Report.
Taking the opportunity to play Champions League football with a team capable of beating any side in Europe under one of the world’s most effective managers might seem like a no brainer for the Belgian.
However, there are at least three reasons why he would be better off spurning their advances in favour of the Reds’ 6/4-rated assault on the Premier League top-four betting.
He was the apple of Jurgen Klopp’s eye prior to his April injury
The youthful promise Origi showed for Belgium in the 2014 World Cup took an age to materialise in the red of Liverpool, after he was loaned back to Lille for a dour year in 2014/15.
Used sparingly under the doomed Brendan Rodgers last term, he continued to labour for some time after Klopp’s arrival, with injuries further sabotaging his momentum.
However, by early April it all seemed to have come together, with the 21-year-old netting five times in as many games and looking the muscular, pacy, hard-grafting, chance-dispatching answer to his manager’s attacking quandaries.
Atletico’s big money striker buys have been flopping with alarming regularity lately
For one reason or another Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez and Luciano Vietto (total cost €77m) have all failed to fit in at Vicente Calderon over the last two seasons, with the latter managing three strikes in 34 La Liga outings in 2015/16.
Origi looks primed to play a central role for Liverpool in the season ahead, reason to think twice about joining a club where so many highly-regarded strikers haven’t stuck around.
Diego Simeone’s Belgian buys have failed to catch fire
The Anfield man’s international teammates Toby Alderweireld and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco’s travails at Atleti after being purchased by Simeone might give him further cause to stay put.
Alderweireld left on loan, never to return, after one campaign spent in and out of the team following his move from Ajax, while 13 of Ferreira-Carrasco’s 29 league outings last season came as a substitute.