- Premier League
Origi stunned by Liverpool interest
Liverpool new boy Divock Origi has admitted he was stunned to discover the club had been tracking his progress for several years.
Origi played and scored at the World Cup for Belgium and completed a £10 million move to Anfield last month before Liverpool immediately loaned him back to Lille.
However, he had no idea that Liverpool had been monitoring him before he announced himself on the world stage in Brazil.
"Liverpool followed me for a long time," Origi said in an interview with L'Equipe. "When I arrived in the offices there, they showed me cassettes of me in the Under-15s. Everyone knew me. I couldn't believe it.
"When I arrived, I was impressed. Steven Gerrard told me it was a shame that I wouldn't be there straight away as everyone was waiting impatiently for me. That means something. I also saw Sturridge, who was very nice."
Brendan Rodgers also has high expectations. "He wants me to become one of the best in the world," Origi added of his new manager.
Origi, 19, only made his Ligue 1 debut in February 2013 but his breathtaking rise has not diminished his awareness that he remains a rough diamond in need of polishing.
"Last year, I scored on my Ligue 1 debut before dropping out of the team a little later," Origi, who has made just 12 starts in 40 French top-flight appearances, added.
"That pushed me to work harder. I want to play a run of games, establish myself in the team, improve, discover European competition."