By Harvey Byrne
Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby has hailed fringe man Divock Origi as one of the plus points of the past week.
The Reds have had testing home fixtures in the past seven days with clashes against close rivals Everton and Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth team.
The Merseysiders earned a convincing 3-1 win against the Toffees, but against Bournemouth they could only manage a 2-2 draw despite leading in the final five minutes.
Origi, 21, did however score in both fixtures with the Everton goal coming after he came off the bench with 33 minutes left, while he was handed a start against the Cherries.
Molby was particularly impressed with the 23-time capped Belgium international and tipped him to play a big part for the team before the season’s end.
“Divock Origi has been one of the big pluses for Liverpool over the past week,” wrote Molby in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
“He made an impact after coming on to wrap up the points in the Merseyside derby and then he scored again against Bournemouth in midweek.
“Moving into double figures for the season will be great for his confidence. Origi will have a big part to play between now and the end of the season.
“He should be fresh and ready, and he’s shown he can really stretch defenders and score different types of goals.
“Sometimes if you go out there feeling you have to do something really exceptional to keep your place that pressure can weigh heavily on your shoulders.
“But Origi knows he’s going to be playing games and that should help him be calmer in certain situations.
“In the absence of Mane, we need a couple of players to really step up and take responsibility to score and create the goals needed to get us in that top four.
“Origi can be one and Coutinho another. Coutinho was exceptional against Everton and made his mark again in the Bournemouth game before going off due to illness.
“Having struggled for form in recent months, it’s great to have him back firing at the business end of the season.
“The squad is thin due to injuries but when you add in the fact that Daniel Sturridge is fit again we do still have some decent options.”
Origi joined Liverpool in the summer of 2014 for a fee of £10million from French side Lille.
He has since featured 69 times for the club, scoring 20 goals and returning seven assists.
The young attacker has played 36 times for Jurgen Klopp’s team in all competitions this season, but only nine of his 27 Premier League appearances have been starts.
Origi has however still managed to return six goals and four assists in the English top-flight and with two years remaining on his contract fans will be hoping his fine form continues.
In other Liverpool news, Mark Lawrenson has predicted the Reds’ clash against Stoke.