By Alex Stevens

Divock Origi is hopeful of being fit for the Europa League final on 18 May, according to Belgian football expert Kristof Terreur.

Liverpool crushed Villarreal 3-0 in their semi-final second leg clash on Thursday night to reach their first European final for nine years.

The Merseysiders have booked their place to face Sevilla, winners of the competition for the last two seasons, in Basle in 13 days.

Origi is currently sidelined with an ankle problem he picked up during the 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat of Everton.

There were concerns that he had suffered severe ligament damage in the immediate aftermath of the match, but the injury isn’t as bad as initially feared.

But Terreur, a journalist for Belgian publication HLN, says there is growing optimism regarding Origi’s recovery.

The Belgian had been enjoying a purple patch of form with five goals in his last six appearances and as a result had established himself as Liverpool’s number one frontman ahead of seasoned goalscorer Daniel Sturridge.

It was also expected that Origi’s impressive performances was catching the eye of Belgian international coach Marc Wilmots in the run-up to the summer European Championship in France.

In other Liverpool news, the Merseysiders are eyeing a summer move for an 11-goal winger.