Former Belgian national team coach Vital Borkelmans spoke with The Gazzetta dello Sport and discussed some players linked with a move to the club from AC Milan:
“Originally? A happy man and a hard worker, much like Leao. I’ve seen pictures where the Portuguese is laughing while he runs, I think they’ll be happy. I saw Divock score a historic goal and then laugh in front of the Queen. In 2014, Origi scored for Russia and became the youngest Belgian player to score for the national team. He was 17 years and a few months old. At the end of the tournament, concluded in the quarter-finals, we are received at the palace by Queen Mathilde. She mistook him for Romelu Lukaku. And of course everyone was laughing. Origi is like that, a golden boy, jovial, available. A hard worker.
Vital Borkelmans on whether Origi is worthy to play for AC Milan:
“Absolutely yes. There is his age, his potential and his affordability. And then he doesn’t feel the pressure, he has always scored important goals.
Origi, however, had many injuries:
“It’s true, but when he’s doing well he’s decisive. If Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019, the credit goes to them too. Double in Barcelona, goal in the final against Tottenham. If you’re not a top player, especially from a mental point of view, you don’t do those things. His qualities? Physical strength and speed. When I first saw him play, he was a winger at Lille, and I thinks that’s his role. For the past two years, the real Origi hasn’t been seen, but he’s always had great mental strength. When you put one thing in your head, that’s it.
What are its negative traits?
“None. Jokes aside, he never scored 20 goals a season. After all, for a long time he played the attacking wing. In 2014, we took him to the World Cup for his unpredictability and his inspiration. We knew that someone like that, starting from the bench, would have done something. Just to play for a minute, he would break the world. Against Russia, we sent him to warm up at the start of the second half. time. We needed someone who exploits spaces. The biggest strength of him. I looked him in the eye and said to (Marc) Wilmots, ‘he’s going to score a goal’. And in fact , he scored.
On AC Milan targeting Origi’s ideal role:
“If it’s a left winger? For me, yes. But, he can play all offensive roles. He’s been the central striker for several years now, Klopp has done well to improve him. Milan is doing a good deal, I can already see that with Giroud.”
On Charles De Ketelaere:
“I consider him the Belgian Totti. He sees passing lines that others do not see. He has a technique… Last year he learned to score. With Brugge he played like a false 9 scoring almost 20 goals.
On AC Milan’s Alexis Saelemaekers:
“In Anderlecht, he played right-back. Pioli improved it a lot. With De Ketelaere, however, Milan would make a qualitative leap.
Of Ketelaere in attacking midfielder and Origi in attack, what do you think?
“They’re a golden couple.”