Jurgen Klopp says Divock Origi’s recent form is down to the fact the striker finally feels confident at Liverpool.
Origi rewarded Klopp’s faith by capping a fine performance with a goal in the 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund last week and then scored twice as a half-time substitute in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Stoke.
It was a sign of how highly Klopp values the Belgian that he was left on the bench at Anfield, one of seven changes the Reds boss made.
Origi joined Liverpool in the summer of 2014 after impressing at the World Cup but had a difficult season on loan back at former club Lille last term and had struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.
His future at Anfield is suddenly looking a lot brighter now, and he took the game away from Stoke.
The 20-year-old headed in James Milner’s cross less than five minutes after coming on and then drove into the box before finding the bottom corner with a cross-cum-shot.
“You see what confidence can do,” Klopp said.
“I think Divock said it himself that when he came here everything was different. He is still a very young player. Coming here he knows expectations are really high because he’s a highly-rated striker.
“He had a lot of little injuries, now that’s the most important thing for him is to stay fit. The last injury he used (to increase) his body strength. Now he has to wear another kit.
“The second goal is only possible with confidence. He really wanted to shoot. It was not a cross or anything. Even on the bench it was a surprise but nice goal.”
Klopp admitted his makeshift team surprised him with the dominance of their performance.
With the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final to come on Thursday, Klopp gave full Premier League debuts to Kevin Stewart and Sheyi Ojo.
Both were impressive, with Ojo setting up Daniel Sturridge to put Liverpool back in front after Bojan Krkic had cancelled out Alberto Moreno’s fine opener.
Klopp said: “For a team that has never played together, it was brilliant. I thought we would have more problems. I thought it was a formation that could win, but not like this.”