Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Divock Origi "can light up world football" after the Belgium striker completed his £10 million (€12.6m) move to Anfield yesterday.
The 19-year-old will immediately be loaned back to French club Lille for next season but Rodgers believes the youngster, who impressed at the World Cup, has the potential to become a legend.
“For me, he can be one of the most exciting talents in world football. I genuinely believe that,” Rodgers said.
“You see a lot of good players, but this kid — for 19 years of age — he burst onto the scene at the World Cup, but we’d tracked him before that, we’d seen him as a young player playing in the youth internationals. He has everything to be world class.
“He’s super fast, has a wonderful touch, he’s a good size and is aggressive.
“I’ve seen enough of him over the course of the last couple of seasons to think this is a kid who, coming into the right environment, can genuinely be world class.
“He will go back to Lille and play there for the season on loan, but by signing him, we’ll have a wonderful player — not only now when he comes in next season, but also in the future.
“He can light up world football, for sure.”
Origi travelled to join up with Liverpool’s pre-season tour of America so the deal could be completed.
“I am very happy and delighted a club as big as Liverpool showed interest in me. I’m very excited,” he said.
“I know it’s a club with a great history, great fans and a lot of great players.
“For me, Liverpool is one of the greatest clubs in the world and I’m very excited to be part of this great history.
“I am very proud to sign for the club. I’ll give everything for the club, like I did when I was small and did for Lille.
“I’m hoping we can achieve great things together.”
In other transfer news, France international Antoine Griezmann has officially joined Atletico Madrid after signing a six-year contract with the Spanish champions.
Atletico and Real Sociedad announced on Monday they had agreed a deal for the 23-year-old, believed to be worth around €30 million, and the forward completed the move yesterday following a successful medical.
Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Caminero has expressed his delight at finally signing the forward, who originally declared his interest in joining Los Rojiblancos back in 2011.
“I’m very happy we have secured a deal for his arrival,” Caminero said.
“Antoine was a priority for us and thankfully we’ve made it a reality. He is one of the best players in our league, as he demonstrated with Real Sociedad.
“He can play perfectly on the wing or behind the striker due to his speed; he can score goals, he has a great shot on him and he is a magnificent assist provider.
“His signing is great news for our club.”
Elsewhere, Hull City have swooped for Scotland’s young player of the year Andrew Robertson from Dundee United and have also completed the signing of defender Harry Maguire from Sheffield United.
Scottish international Robertson, 20, has cost the Tigers £2.85m (€3.6m) while 21-year-old Maguire has joined for a £2.5m (€3.1m) fee.
Both players have signed three-year deals.
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