Liverpool striker Divock Origi says 'gut feeling' told him to stay

Divock Origi
Divock Origi is set to start the season in attack, with Liverpool's front three all in Africa Cup of Nations or Copa America duty this summer

Divock Origi says "a gut feeling" told him to stay at Liverpool and the striker is ready to kick on from the Champions League-winning goals which changed his life.

The 24-year-old did not start a Premier League game last season before December and could have left Anfield in January.

But now - fresh from goals against Barcelona and Tottenham which helped Liverpool to their sixth European Cup - he has signed a new long-term deal.

He is set to start the season up front.

First-choice attackers Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have all missed Liverpool's pre-season tour of the US after long summers with their nations.

Mane is not due back at the club until after the Community Shield on 4 August.

"It is a lot to happen in a year," Origi said. "And that's the beauty of football.

"Winning the Champions League is a boy's dream so it changes a lot in a player's career. I finished last season very well and again in training I feel well. It is on me to show it on the pitch."

Origi spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Wolfsburg and was linked with moves to Huddersfield and Wolves during the first half of last season.

He scored a winner against rivals Everton on his first league appearance, and followed up with another late goal at Newcastle as Liverpool finished a point behind champions Manchester City. The Belgian, who scored in Sunday's friendly defeat by Sevilla, says it was a gamble to stay at Anfield but one he feels has paid off.

"I just sat down and I felt like I wanted to stay and help this team," he said.

"I felt good, I just had to keep performing in training and I knew my chance would come. I felt like we could do something special.

"I just had to block everything out on the outside and focus on the right things. In football you never know 100%, it could have gone another way as well but that's the choice I made."

Origi scored in Liverpool's final game of a three-match trip to the US, in a 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday evening in New York.

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