Liverpool striker Divock Origi has stated that Manchester United wanted to sign him as a youngster, but he opted to join French club Lille instead after seeing Eden Hazard’s progression in Ligue 1.
The Belgium international centre forward is highly rated by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp but has Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino as competition for a number nine berth at the Merseyside club.
Origi burst into the collective limelight after some positive showings at the 2014 World Cup, which convinced Brendan Rodgers to bring him to the Premier League.
However, the sprightly centre forward was clearly on the agenda of a number of European clubs from a young age.
Origi has spoken about how he had the choice of which team to join as a teenager and that Hazard’s progression from a bright prospect into a Ligue 1 star swayed his decision.
“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,” he told The Mirror.
“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.
“My heart said: ‘go to Lille.’ I remember coming home from school, sitting in the kitchen and my dad said: ‘the choice is yours, what do you want to do?’ I decided to go to Lille.”
Origi scored a clinical goal in Liverpoo’s last game at Bournemouth but was powerless to prevent the Reds from losing 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium last Sunday.