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UCL hero Origi signs new Liverpool contract

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol says Divock Origi hasn't improved in his five years at Anfield and brings the level of the team down.
Paul Mariner gives his opinion on Liverpool's reported move to extend Divock Origi's contract and have him as the first-choice forward off the bench.
Steve Nicol says Liverpool need quality attacking depth and bringing back Philippe Coutinho could be a sensible move if they can afford him.

Divock Origi has become the latest Liverpool player to commit his future to the club by signing a new deal at Anfield.

The 24-year-old, who scored the second goal in the Champions League final as Liverpool won their sixth European Cup, agreed to fresh terms on Wednesday.

- When does the transfer window close?

As reported by ESPN FC, the European champions were confident the striker would extend his stay on Merseyside beyond the 12 months he had remaining on a deal from July 2014.

Talks over an improved contract began last season, progressed during the summer and accelerated this week.

"I always felt comfortable here. I made steps during my career. I became a man here at this club, I signed when I was 19," Origi said on Liverpool's website.

"We're still young so there's a lot of potential in the group. I'm just having fun in training and on the pitch. Those are all important factors as a player."

His decision was never going to be financially driven, with the player valuing minutes over money. He rejected the chance to depart Liverpool last summer and in January in order to fight his way back into the manager's plans.

That decision was vindicated as the Belgium international contributed five of the club's most important goals in 2018-19 -- two in the Champions League semifinal win against Barcelona, late winners in the Premier League against Everton and Newcastle in addition to his strike against Spurs in the UCL final -- despite limited game time.

Origi reported back to Melwood for preseason training on Monday and signalled his desire to play a further part in helping Liverpool win silverware.

Since joining Liverpool in 2014 from Lille on a five-year deal, Origi has scored 28 goals in 98 games for the club and now is set to add to those totals.

He joins Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson who have all renewed their contracts with the club over the past year.

Virgil van Dijk has informed Liverpool he would be happy to sign an extension, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip and James Milner are among those expected to be next in line to agree new deals.

Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have prioritised a policy of retaining players rather than making blockbuster moves this summer, confident that their no-waste approach allows them to strike if another "transformer" -- the word used at Melwood to describe Van Dijk and Alisson -- is within reach in future.

Liverpool's business in the window is forecasted to be minimal and largely centred around squad depth. They have edged out Europe's elite in their bid to sign Fulham's record-breaking midfielder Harvey Elliott, who became the youngest-ever Premier League player in May.

Liverpool have also added highly rated Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg, 17, to their ranks.

Liverpool, who missed out on the league title to Manchester City by one point last season, play Pep Guardiola's side in the Community Shield on Aug. 4 before they begin the new league campaign on Aug. 9 at home to promoted Norwich City.

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