Because less players equal more space to pass and move

Ings injury offers Origi a chance

The Jurgen Klopp era at Liverpool is a matter of days old, yet to take in its opening Premier League fixture, but the German tactician has already been handed his first managerial headache on Merseyside.

Thursday brought the news of season-ending injuries to Danny Ings and Joe Gomez, with cruciate ligament damage bringing their respective campaigns to a premature conclusion.

This twist in Ings’ tale helps to highlight how fortunes can change in the blink of an eye, with a devastating blow to his burgeoning career being dealt a little over 48 hours after he was handed his senior England debut in a Euro 2016 qualifier with Lithuania.

As one door closes, though, another can often open.
Klopp will be clinging to that cliché as he endeavours to paper over an early crack in his Anfield regime, with Liverpool suddenly in need of cover for a player they only acquired over the summer, and one they are yet to pay for after taking Ings at the end of his contract at Burnley.

Handing over a cheque for a player they will not see in competitive action again until 2016/17 will feel a little odd, but the Reds have another player on their books who has been in a similar situation.

Brendan Rodgers and/or the infamous transfer committee sanctioned a £10 million deal for Divock Origi on the back of a promising breakthrough season at Lille and a positive showing at the 2014 World Cup.

They were, however, prepared to write off that investment for 12 months as the youngster was immediately loaned back to his former employers.

It is fair to say the 2014/15 campaign was something of a mixed bag for the 20-year-old, with a flying start to the campaign followed by a 23-game goal drought for club and country.

Liverpool were to welcome him back to England over the summer, though, and the intention was to ease the Belgium international into Premier League life.

They have been able to do just that, with Europa League and Capital One Cup outings complemented by just 16 minutes of top-flight action.

Origi will have been hoping for more, but will also have acknowledged that Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge and Ings stand above him in the striking pecking order.
His window of opportunity may, however, have just swung open.

It is difficult to make an impact in sporadic outings, with it important to remember that a player who remains something of a rough diamond is still adjusting to life in new surroundings, in a new country, with new teammates and now, with a new manager.

If he is to get his big break, as part of a side suddenly back in vogue with football betting experts, he needs to make sure he takes it.

His energetic approach to the game should endear him to Klopp, while operating in the squad void created by Ings’ absence may also work in his favour as he is likely to be utilised in more of a wide attacking role than a central striking berth.

That will help to lift the burden of goalscoring responsibility which will be a welcome relief for a man who has never been prolific.

It must also be noted that while he is yet to open his account for the Reds, so is £29 million man Roberto Firmino (who has seen 239 minutes of Premier League football), Adam Lallana has only netted in Europe this season and Brazilian talisman Philippe Coutinho has managed just one effort in 10 outings – on the opening weekend.

Losing Ings at this stage is unfortunate, with the 23-year-old looking lively and grabbing himself two goals, but as he takes one step back, offering Origi the opportunity to take one forward and make his own mark in the famous red shirt may be beneficial to all concerned in the long run.