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Jul 29, 2014

Liverpool seal deal for Divock Origi

FC's Shaka Hislop, Alejandro Moreno and Steve Nicol debate how best to fill the hole left by Luis Suarez's departure.

Liverpool have completed the signing of Belgium international striker Divock Origi from Lille. He will be loaned straight back to the Ligue 1 club for this season.

Origi, 19, was one of the stars of the Belgium side which reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Though he began the competition on the bench, he ousted Romelu Lukaku from the starting XI after scoring the late winner against Russia in the group stage.

He was born in Ostend and came through the youth ranks of Genk before being signed by Lille in 2010. Though the transfer fee is undisclosed, it is believed Liverpool have paid 10 million pounds for his services.

Origi, who flew out to Liverpool's tour of the United States to complete the deal, told the club's official website: "I am very, very happy and delighted a club as big as Liverpool showed interest in me. I'm very excited.

"I know it's a club with a great history, great fans and a lot of great players. For me, Liverpool is one of the greatest clubs in the world and I'm very excited to be part of this great history."

Manager Brendan Rodgers added: "For me, he can be one of the most exciting talents in world football. I genuinely believe that.

"You see a lot of good players, but this kid -- for 19 years of age -- he burst onto the scene at the World Cup, but we'd tracked him before that, we'd seen him as a young player playing in the youth internationals. He has everything to be world class.

"He's super fast, has a wonderful touch, he's a good size and is aggressive. What I like, and what I have in other players, is that humility to work hard.

"I've seen enough of him over the course of the last couple of seasons to think this is a kid who, coming into the right environment, can genuinely be world class.

"He will go back to Lille and play there for the season on loan, but by signing him, we'll have a wonderful player -- not only now when he comes in next season, but also in the future.

"He can light up world football, for sure."

Origi and his father Mike, a former Kenya international who played in Belgium for Genk, travelled to Merseyside for talks in early July after Liverpool agreed a fee with the French Ligue 1 club.

He then told Belgian media that he wanted time to consider his future before committing himself. But Origi snr. told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad last week that the deal was close to completion.

Origi is Liverpool's sixth confirmed signing of the summer, with striker Rickie Lambert, midfielder Adam Lallana and centre-back Dejan Lovren all joining from Southampton, midfielder Emre Can arriving from Bayer Leverkusen and winger Lazar Markovic coming in from Benfica.

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