Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled out sending Divock Origi on loan during the January transfer window, despite the Belgian youngster struggling to secure game time so far this season. Rodgers says the 20-year-old striker needs to develop at Anfield after a 2014-15 campaign that saw him on loan at Lille.
Origi was signed in 2014 after becoming one of the sensations of that summer's World Cup. However, with Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini all ahead of him in Liverpool's striking options at that time, Rodgers opted to send him back on loan to Lille – where the striker scored nine goals in 44 games.
Rodgers brought Origi back over the summer, as part of his attacking options alongside Sturridge and new signings Christian Benteke and Danny Ings. But with the trio all ahead of him in the pecking order, Origi has managed just 16 minutes of game time in the Premier League, with his starts being limited to the Europa League opener against Bordeaux and the Capital One Cup penalty shootout win over Carlisle United.
The Mirror recently reported that Liverpool were considering sending him back on loan during the January transfer window if Sturridge remains injury free after his comeback. However, Rodgers says he wants Origi in his squad at least until the end of the season.
"No, not at this stage. He had his loan period last year. This year is about him coming in and adapting. We'll review where he's at at the end of the season," the manager said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo, ahead of the Europa League game against Sion.
"The focus on Divock is goals and games. It takes time to adapt. For us it's about nurturing talent along. He's a humble guy, he knows he's here to develop. It's a big step."