Origi, who Liverpool paid Lille £10m for back in 2014, departs on a free transfer, but his contribution in his eight years at Anfield, a spell that saw him rack up 41 goals in 176 appearances in all competitions, has ensured that he has etched his name into Reds folklore for his pivotal role in some of the club's biggest achievements of the modern era. His winner in the 4-0 drubbing of Barcelona back in May 2019 ranks up there as one of the greatest moments in Anfield history as he sent Jurgen Klopp's side through to a Champions League final that they would eventually go on to win, netting himself in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid. It seems strange to think that the figure of Divock Origi emerging from the substitutes bench ready to make an impact on the biggest stages for Liverpool is now a thing of the past.
The 27-year-old has left Anfield, with his cult hero status assured, and is now in Italy to finalise a move to Serie A champions AC Milan, a deal that is expected to be concluded imminently. While he had made a Liverpool career out of telling contributions from the bench, Origi has been yearning for a more prominent first- team role and he is expected to get more game time when he completes his switch to the Rossoneri, a club now under the ownership of RedBird Capital Partners, the US investment fund that owns an 11 per cent stake in Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group.
Origi's deal at Anfield was reported to have a salary of around £60,000 per week. Reports in Italian media suggest that he will see a bump on his weekly wages to £65,000, but the reality is that a lot more of that £65,000 per week will end up in the pocket of the Belgian in Italy than it would have in England.
For some time Italy has had in place something known as the Growth Decree, legislation that was introduced to provide generous tax breaks for workers coming in from abroad and that quickly found itself applied to sport.
Hefty tax relief is given to players arriving from overseas over the age of 20 and earning more than €1m per year in salary. These tax discounts are applied for three years after the date of the move and based upon the player maintaining tax residence in Italy for at least two years.
For Origi, the £5,000-per-week pay rise will actually be far more valuable that it may appear at first, something which has been a tool for Italian clubs to try and entice players to Serie A from abroad, helping them to keep wage spend down due to the economic benefits the tax breaks deliver to the player arriving.
Origi's move is one that makes sense from both a competitive and financial point of view.