AC Milan confirm free transfer signing of Divock Origi after Liverpool exit

AC Milan have announced the signing of Belgian striker Divock Origi on a four-year contract.

The 27-year-old departed Liverpool at the end of the 2021/22 season upon the expiration of his deal in Merseyside, having signed for the Reds in 2014. He spent his first official campaign as a Red back on loan at former club Lille, where he came through the youth system, before also spending a year in Germany with Wolfsburg on loan during 17/18.

Either side of that temporary stint away he played a crucial squad role in Jurgen Klopp’s side, often used as a substitute or impact alternative forward, but also frequently proving capable of coming up with crucial goals for the team.

Origi scored twice for Liverpool against Barcelona in their memorable comeback win in the 2019 Champions League semi-final second leg, before also netting the killer second goal in the final against Tottenham.

He is also fondly recalled by the Anfield faithful for both improbable and individual goals against Everton, Wolves and Newcastle, scoring 41 in total for Liverpool across 175 appearances.

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At international level Origi has played 32 times for Belgium, though all three of his senior goals came back in 2014 at, and just after, the World Cup in Brazil.

Milan’s short statement on the long-expected signing confirmed that he had signed through to 2026.

Prior to the announcement, head coach Stefano Pioli had insisted that rotation in the team would be at play, but that he held high hopes of what the forward would bring.

“The pecking order will change game after game; this has always been our strength. I don’t have a starting 11 in my head because we have too many matches coming up to consider the possibility of someone playing all 21 fixtures from 13 August to 16 November.

“We’ll have two strong players with different characteristics up front. This is a very important aspect in such a tactical league. Origi is intelligent and I expect a lot from him.”

Milan won the Serie A title last season the boss is hoping for even more improvement this time around to defend their Scudetto.

“We’ll need to raise the bar. We’ve motivated our opponents and we’ll need to improve even more to build on what we’ve done,” Pioli added. “We need be aware of the reason why we achieved this success. I’ll be working with a mature and motivated group; we’ve remained in contact and I know that I’m managing serious players and people. The pressure and expectations will rise; 5-6 teams could compete for the Scudetto but we want to carry on being successful.”

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