Liverpool striker, Divock Origi, has revealed that he had turned down a move to Manchester United as a youngster.
Origi was 15 years old when he snubbed the chance to join United. The Belgian forward went on to sign for Lille instead. He revealed that Lille’s reputation of developing young players was the key factor behind his decision to join the French club.
Origi mentioned that he was impressed with Lille’s training centre and wanted to follow the footsteps of his compatriot, Eden Hazard, who went on to become a “big player” after winning the league title with the French club.
I started with the national team at under-16s. It was a very good year for me, a lot of scouts were coming to my dad. I heard Manchester United wanted to sign me, some Italian clubs and German clubs.
I visited Lille’s training centre. I was amazed how good it was. I saw how Eden Hazard had grown from young player to big player winning the league with them and that was something very nice. They have a very good reputation at developing young players.
The Belgian striker then gave some fascinating insight into why he chose Liverpool over other top European clubs two and a half years ago. He revealed that there were offers from some of the best clubs, including German champions, Bayern Munich:
There were offers from everywhere. Bayern were interested, all these clubs. But I came to Liverpool, I saw the facilities, I took some time out of my vacation to visit Melwood and speak with (then manager) Brendan Rodgers.
Lille, however, didn’t want to sell him despite Liverpool offering good money. The two clubs found a solution in the end, with Liverpool allowing Origi to stay on for one more year at the French club. Origi, 21, is far from the finished product, but he is a precocious young talent and has a bright future ahead of him.