Jurgen Klopp admitted he was surprised at the lack of interest in Liverpool striker Divock Origi in the summer, saying: “Obviously people don’t watch football enough!”
Belgian forward Origi started for the first time since January and brilliantly set up Mohamed Salah’s equaliser in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over AC Milan in Champions League Group B opener.
Klopp heaped praise on 26-year-old, who started only six times for Liverpool last season, and said the club were braced for a “proper offer” for Origi in the summer.
Klopp told BT Sport: “[Divock] played a beautiful game. People forget how good he is, it’s difficult to get into this team.
“In the summer transfer window we all thought there would be a proper offer for him, but obviously people don’t watch football enough.
“He’s a sensational striker and he did really well today.”
Klopp added in his post-match press conference: “He’s a great guy. He’ll be seen as a legend when he leaves. He could have left in the summer but football is a crazy place and people forgot how good he is. We have to decide the positions. He did nothing wrong.
“It’s difficult to get in this team sometimes, but I am really happy for him tonight.”
Liverpool came from behind in a classic opening-night clash at Anfield to beat the Italian side, and with Atletico Madrid drawing 0-0 with Porto in the other Group B game, Klopp’s side are on the front foot in a tricky group.
“Come on, that’s our pick from pot four! Come on, that’s AC Milan, in a really good moment. It’s a tough group and will stay a tough group, which is why it’s so important to win this game. It didn’t decide anything, but gave us at least an OK start.
“Spectacular, a European night at Anfield, I love it.
“We started incredibly well, played a super-intense game but football-wise as well really good.
“We didn’t give them anything until we got punished in the last few minutes before half-time. We got a bit carried away by our own football, we didn’t keep it simple offensively and not organised defensively any more.
“It wasn’t nice but it didn’t feel like we could not come back in the second half. We had to change immediately to get back to how we started and then we scored wonderful goals. Both were incredible and won the game and I think it was deserved.”
Liverpool’s remaining Champions League fixtures
September 28: Porto (A) – kick-off 8pm
October 19: Atletico Madrid (A) – kick-off 8pm
November 3: Atletico Madrid (H) – kick-off 8pm
November 24: Porto (H) – kick-off 8pm
December 7: AC Milan (A) – kick-off 8pm
Liverpool host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm, while Milan are at Juventus on Sunday evening at 7.45pm in Serie A. Milan’s next Champions League group game is at home to Atletico Madrid on September 28 at 8pm.