What next for Divock Origi after he is omitted from AC Milan’s matchday squad twice in a row?

What next for Divock Origi after he is omitted from AC Milan’s matchday squad twice in a row?

Mark Kinyanjui 12:00 - 28.08.2023

Origi was left out of AC Milan's Serie A matchday squad for the second week in a row.

Divock Origi’s AC Milan future is hanging by a thread.

A cult hero at Anfield, famous for scoring big goals including a winner at San Siro in his final season at Liverpool, Origi’s move to Milan has been underwhelming, to say the least.

For the second Serie A game in a row, he was left out of the squad as Milan strolled their way to a 4-1 win over Torino, a result which puts them top of the Serie A table as they attempt to reclaim the title they lost to Napoli last season.

Italian champions at the time of his signing, the club’s data team were unsure about Origi on the basis of the small sample size of minutes on which to judge his performance in recent years, but the erstwhile recruitment duo of Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara pushed the deal through anyway. Origi was free after all and, as such, presented a relatively low risk.

A player who cost next to nothing has, unsurprisingly, delivered next to nothing other than the consolation worldie he scored in a humiliating 5-2 defeat to Sassuolo in late January.

Nursing an injury upon his arrival, Origi didn’t actually kick a game off until the end of October when he did, in fairness, mark his first start with a goal against Monza. But it was the sort of deal that blemished Maldini and Massara’s tenure, particularly as the 28-year-old Origi was handed a four-year deal.

Both men were dismissed at the beginning of the summer and, for all the attention devoted to Milan’s nine new signings, little focus has been given to the work of chief executive Giorgio Furlani.

 He has overseen a clear-out and tried to correct the errors made this time last year. Beyond the money-spinning sale of Sandro Tonali to Newcastle and Brahim Diaz’s return to Real Madrid, several other players have departed either on loan or a permanent basis.

Ante Rebic left for Besiktas. Junior Messias is now at Genoa. Charles De Ketelaere is down the road in Bergamo with Atalanta. Ciprian Tatarusanu moved to Saudi at the end of his contract. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has retired. Matteo Gabbia traded places with Samuel Chukwueze in Villarreal and Maldini’s son, Daniel, is in Empoli.

Origi has been harder to shift even in a summer when clubs from the Saudi Pro League have been throwing money around.

The Belgian was not in the squad for last Monday’s season opener in Bologna and will find it hard to get minutes now Noah Okafor is backing up Olivier Giroud. Next in the pecking order is Italy Under-21 international Lorenzo Colombo who — in the event he is loaned to Monza — will be replaced not by Origi but a new signing in the last week of the window.

Origi had been linked with a move back to the Premier League by way of Sheffiel United on loan, but those links have since faded as quickly as they surfaced. With the transfer window deadline day approaching the end, it is interesting to see where he will be playing by  September 1.