Jurgen Klopp admitted he didn’t expect to have Divock Origi in his Liverpool squad again this season, but was delighted with the forward’s performance on the Reds’ return to the Champions League.
The Belgian forward made his first start since January in a surprise move from Klopp, and he impressed with a brilliant performance in the 3-2 win over AC Milan on Wednesday night.
For just over an hour, Origi relentlessly pressed in an energetic outing and reminded fans of his talent for stringing attacking play together, before being replaced by Sadio Mane in the 63rd minute.
It was another solid European performance from the forward, who enshrined his name in Liverpool folklore with his winning goal in the stunning all-around comeback against Barcelona on the road to European Cup glory in 2019.
After the Reds’ latest comeback against Milan at Anfield, Klopp once again hailed Origi as a “Liverpool legend” and praised the “remarkable” 26-year-old.
But, the boss admitted he didn’t expect the forward to still be around after the summer transfer window.
“Divock Origi… people forget so quickly in life and in football, he’s an exceptional striker,” the boss said in his post-match press conference.
“He did really well, especially [because] for a long time he didn’t start – it’s just really hard to get into this team to be honest and it makes life a little uncomfortable sometimes.
“But he’s a great guy and I’m really happy for him that he can play like this tonight.
“Ten years from now, when we look back, he will be a Liverpool legend. He is simply too young to be considered a Liverpool legend so he has to play football
“To be 100% honest, I thought he might be leaving this summer. but the world of football is a crazy place and people have obviously forgotten how good it is.
“In the summer transfer window we all thought he would become a suitable offer – obviously people don’t watch football enough. Divock is a sensational striker and he did very well today.
“Divock hasn’t done anything wrong. he trains, he gives everything and sometimes you are still not part of the team. it can happen, especially when everyone is in good shape.
“But tonight he was the right player to do it and he did really well. It’s just nice, I’m really happy that I was able to give him the opportunity and he used it the way he did.
Klopp was a happy man after his team’s exhilarating victory against AC Milan, but says the team “got carried away”.
Jordan Henderson scored a superb game-winner – which compared him to Steven Gerraard – and sealed a fine victory as the Reds came back from behind to get maximum points at Anfield after Milan scored two quick goals at the end of the first half.
“We are starting off incredibly well,” added Klopp. “We played a great game. Super intense and football game too.
“We got a bit carried away by our own football. We did not make it easy. It’s the football I want to see to be honest, in most times.
Klopp’s words were echoed by his captain Henderson who couldn’t believe how long his last goal had been in Europe.
He said: “It’s been a long time! It wasn’t Ludogrets  was it? Was it ?! “
A long wait but the skipper was delighted with the victory even though he said there were things to “learn”.
Henderson added, “I started the game really well. Scored, got the penalty and then the last ten or fifteen minutes of the first half we had this spell where we found it difficult.
“They scored two goals and we came in at half time a little disappointed to be behind.
“I thought the guys reacted really well, that the second half started the game really well and we got our rewards and came back into the game and got the winner.
“So overall delighted and we have to learn from this ten-fifteen minute spell as well.” “
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