Liverpool striker Divock Origi has revealed that he has no regrets regarding rejecting a chance to move to Manchester United earlier in his career. The striker, who moved to Anfield from French club Lillein 2014, had an offer from the Old Trafford club when he was just a 15-year-old. He, however, rejected the offer and opted to stay in Ligue 1 and continue his football development.
The Belgium international admits that despite his childhood dream to play in the Premier League, he felt compelled to stay with the French club owing to the number of top-level players who have come through the youth ranks to claim a place in the first-team. The 20-year-old forward has no regrets rejecting the Premier League giants and believes his decision was the right one.
"It was just a decision of my heart. At that moment I wanted to be a product of the Lille academy. I had just seen Eden Hazard come through and Lille had players like Gervinho and Joe Cole in the first team, so I thought I would have a good chance of making it there," Origi said, as quoted by the Guardian.
"I still remember coming home from school and my parents asking me to sit down because there was something they wanted to discuss. But, even though the offer was a good one, they told me I could choose. I didn't have anything against Manchester United or any other team, and my dream was always to play in the Premier League one day, but my heart told me the best thing would be to stay at Lille. I had a day or so of thinking it over but in the end I believe I made a good choice," he explained.
The Merseyside club signed him following the 2014 World Cup, where he found fame when he scored for his country against Russia and put in some impressive performances during the course of the tournament. Brendan Rodgers snapped him up during the 2014 summer transfer window, but loaned him back to Lille for the entirety of the 2014/15 campaign. He has since returned and is battling to establish a regular place in the Liverpool starting XI under new manager Jurgen Klopp.
"That wasn't easy, because obviously when you sign for a new club you want to play for them. But I never regret anything, I learned a lot and it made me stronger. I am here at Liverpool now and for the future, so everything has worked out well. In the beginning it took a while to adapt but now I am starting to see the profits."
Origi, who has made 22 appearances in all competitions thus far this campaign with five goals, is looking forward to playing the 20-time English champions, whom they face in the last 16 of the Europa League, and winning the second tier European competition is Liverpool's only chance to qualify for the Champions League next season, as they are currently in the eighth place in the Premier League.
"It is always special to play Manchester United. I came into the Liverpool team for the first time in the away game in September and I am very motivated and excited for the next match. We are ready for the fight. I believe we can go far in this tournament," the Belgian striker explained.