Jurgen Klopp makes Divock Origi ‘joke’ admission amid AC Milan, Newcastle and West Ham links
Divock Origi was left out of Liverpool’s match-day squad against Arsenal and is said to be wanted by AC Milan this summer.
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Jurgen Klopp has admitted that it was ‘a joke’ Divock Origi was unable to make Liverpool's squad for their victory over Arsenal.
The Reds are now just a point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race after a 2-0 defeat of the Gunners last night.
Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino were on target in the second half at the Emirates.
Klopp’s attacking options are stronger than they have ever been during his Anfield tenure following the arrival of Luis Diaz in the January transfer window.
The Liverpool boss could afford to start Mo Salah on the bench against Arsenal because of a foot injury.
And the potency of the Reds’ forward line meant that Origi and Harvey Elliott were omitted from the visitors’ match-day squad.
Origi’s a cult hero among Kopites, having won the Champions League and Premier League during his time on Merseyside.
The Belgium international, who has scored five goals in 14 games this season, is out of contract in the summer and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reports he’s coveted by AC Milan.
What’s been said
Klopp reckons being able to leave a player of Origi’s quality out of his set-up underlines Liverpool’s strength in depth.
He said: “We need our boys in different ways as well, it’s not that you can just be a striker who scores goals.
“If you want to be a striker for Liverpool you have to work your socks off in each game, you have to defend the width, you have to defend the whatever.
“That is important, that is why we change, not because they didn’t score because Diogo scored and we still changed. It’s about how much can they help us in all the situations and for that you need fresh legs and it’s not a massive problem, to be honest, to find the right line-up.
“It depends on the moment and stuff like this – who played how many minute - we have the chance [to change], it’s the first time we have it.
“Usually years ago it was like Sadio [Mane] and Mo played all the time and Bobby pretty much all the time or Divock played. That was the situation. Maybe that’s the reason why we were never in more competitions.
“Divock Origi was not in the squad today, that’s a joke as well because if you see him training you would think, how can you leave him at home? But that’s it.”
Premier League rivals West Ham United and Newcastle United were linked with Origi in January.