Girard: No contact from Liverpool over Origi recall
The Belgium international was signed by the Reds for €13 million in August and, with Mario Balotelli misfiring, reports have suggested his loan stay at Lille could be cut short
Lille manager Rene Girard has refuted claims Liverpool have attempted to recall Divock Origi from his loan spell with the Ligue 1 club.
The striker signed for Brendan Rodgers’ side in a €13 million deal following an impressive World Cup campaign with Belgium, but was immediately sent back to Lille on a season-long loan deal.
The Reds have struggled for goals this season following the sale of Luis Suarez, injuries to Daniel Sturridge and a poor run of form from Mario Balotelli, with reports suggesting teenager Origi could be recalled to add some firepower to the Anfield outfit.
But Girard has revealed there has been no contact from Liverpool regarding Origi’s loan deal being cut short, despite the player himself admitting he has spoken to Rodgers on a number of occasions since penning a six-year deal with the Premier League side.
“It’s only a rumour. There have been no approaches, as far as I know,” Girard told RTBF.
“It was agreed that Divock [will] spend the year with us. There’s no reason he should leave midway through the season.”
The coach also denied that Balotelli could be sent the other way as part of a swap deal, adding: “The matter has never been raised.”
Origi will be given a chance to impress on Merseyside on Thursday as the French side travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Europa League, with the youngster’s international team-mate Romelu Lukaku set to line up for the Toffees.
And Girard feels Origi has no reason to be envious of the likes of Lukaku and his fellow Belgians in the Premier League, claiming his player will become one of the best forwards on the continent once he arrives in England.
“Divock has no reason to envy them, given his youth and his desire to succeed. He’s going to continue improving year on year, and I think next year he’s going to be able to show he’s one of Europe’s greats
“I think he’s a boy who still has some way to go. Right now, he’s at a club where he can grow by playing.
“He’s a boy who has the makings of a great player. He has all the attributes.”