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Sunday 20 October 2019

Origi to be rewarded with deal

Divock Origi celebrates with Xherdan Shaqiri after scoring Liverpool’s fourth against Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images
Divock Origi celebrates with Xherdan Shaqiri after scoring Liverpool’s fourth against Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool are set to reward Divock Origi, the hero of their sensational comeback win over Barcelona, with a new contract after the Belgian proved his worth to boss Jurgen Klopp.

Origi arrived on Merseyside in 2014 as an in-demand youngster after impressing with Belgium at the World Cup in Brazil.

The £10m prospect returned to former club Lille on loan but never became the goalscorer that the Reds had hoped and after a couple of seasons back at Anfield he went out on loan to Wolfsburg.

With his contract ticking down and first-team chances still hard to come by, Origi nearly left the club in January amid interest from Wolves, Everton and Crystal Palace.

But Klopp has been impressed by the 24-year-old's work ethic and continual improvement, recently leapfrogging Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri in the pecking order. Stepping in for a Champions League semi-final where the Reds were without Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino through injury, Origi scored twice and kept Barca's defence occupied all night to cement Klopp's opinion of him.

Now the Belgian international will be rewarded with a contract extension that will add to the 12 months remaining on his existing deal.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has revealed he had to sneak out of Anfield as his nerves threatened to give way while Liverpool's comeback kings mounted their stunning rescue act against Barcelona.

Miracle

Gerrard took daughter Lourdes back to his old stomping ground to watch Klopp's side perform a football miracle.

But the tension-filled final stages, as the Reds clung on to a 4-0 lead, was too much for the former Liverpool skipper to handle, so he made his excuses and left.

"My nerves the other night at Anfield were difficult to control," confessed Liverpool's 2005 Champions League-winning skipper.

"I had to leave before the end once it was 4-0. I had my seven-year-old daughter with me and I used that as an excuse to go, saying she had school the next day.

"But really it was more about my nerves - God knows what the players were going through. I don't think I'd have been able to cope with seeing either Coutinho, Suarez or Messi break my heart.

"So I decided to beat the traffic and get out of there before it went wrong.

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