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Origi always believed he could take 'next step' in 'special season' at Liverpool

11:16 AM GMT+4 28/05/2019
Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Liverpool
The Belgium international had been something of a forgotten man at Anfield, but has made some telling contributions across the 2018-19 campaign

Divock Origi always believed he was capable of taking the “next step” at Liverpool in what has been a “special season” for those at Anfield.

The Belgian forward had become something of a forgotten man on Merseyside heading into the 2018-19 campaign.

Having spent a year out on loan at Wolfsburg, many expected the 24-year-old to be moved on or find himself stuck on the fringes of the fold in England.

He did have to be patient in his efforts to prove his worth to Jurgen Klopp, but has ended up making a telling contribution at crucial stages.

A last-gasp winner in a Merseyside derby date with Everton was followed by another dramatic impact at Newcastle and a deadly double in a stunning Champions League semi-final tie with Barcelona.

Origi never doubted that he could make his mark at Liverpool, with his work rate and dedication to the cause having helped to force him back into contention for regular minutes.

“My job was to shine my light and enjoy my game,” he told the Reds’ official website on a battle to earn an extended stay under Klopp.

“I’m somebody who loves the game, is passionate about the game and loves to express himself in the game. Whenever I do that, good things happen.

“Trying to help the team as much as possible. I knew it was going to be an important season for the club, and for me as well, and I just wanted to make that next step.

“When I came back – obviously I was away for a year – I saw the group had made another step. We recruited some top players and I felt like we had a lot of quality, and experience as well. We were a bit older. I knew it was going to be a special season.”

Origi could have one more outing left to take in this season.

Having helped to fire Liverpool to the Champions League final, he is now forming part of the preparations for a clash with Premier League rivals Tottenham on Saturday.

“They have a super team,” Origi said of Spurs.

“We played against them a couple of times and we know they have danger from all angles, which makes the game so beautiful. It’s going to be a special game for us.

“We have a lot of respect for them but we also know we have a very good team. We have big qualities and, above everything, we’ll play with a big heart.

“It will be a mountain to climb for us – but a good mountain. With preparation and training, we’ll feel confident for the game.”

Origi may have to settle for a place on the Liverpool bench against Tottenham, with fellow frontman Roberto Firmino winning his battle to be fit enough for a starting berth.