Divock Origi set for Premier League return, as two other former Liverpool forwards look to move on

Daryl Finch
10 months ago

In a move that is sure to please Liverpool fans around the globe, former forward Divock Origi is closing in on a return to the Premier League.

The Belgian, who is considered a legend on Merseyside for his heroics in helping the Reds to Premier League and Champions League success, is set to join Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan deal from AC Milan.

Now 28, Origi has had limited success since swapping Anfield for San Siro in July 2022. After more than seven years with Liverpool, last season he often found himself playing second fiddle to the likes of Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leão.

During a frustrating year, he was limited to just 36 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.

At the City Ground, he will be paired with another former Liverpool forward in the shape of Taiwo Awoniyi, who is enjoying an excellent run of form, scoring in seven consecutive Premier League games - a club record.

A French adventure for Big Andy

Meanwhile, another ex-Liverpool striker on the move is Andy Carroll.

After triggering a release clause in his contract that meant he could leave Reading as a free agent following their relegation to League One, the 34-year-old has joined French side Amiens SC in a deal that will see him play outside of England for the first time.

Carroll, who joined the Reds on deadline day in January 2011 for a club-record £35m, has gone on to enjoy a nomadic career, with stops at West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, a return to Newcastle, and two spells with the Royals.

Now, "Big Andy" will try his luck in Ligue 2.

Eighth club in eight years

In a similar vein, serial troublemaker (and one-time Liverpool man) Mario Balotelli is also on the move.

The controversial Italian could be off to Saudi Arabia after being banned from training with the first team by his current club, Swiss side Sion.

Balotelli, 33, only joined Sion last summer (for a club-record £2m) after finding himself forced out by Turkish side Adana Demirspor following an explosive on-pitch row with manager Vincenzo Montella.

And it seems that issues with his behaviour have continued. Sion president Christian Constantin has also had run-ins with Balotelli, whom he has criticised for not living up to expectations, scoring just six goals as the team was relegated.

Constantin even suggested that he might benefit from playing in a country with a different financial approach: "Mario has not repaid the confidence we placed in him. Neither has he rewarded us for the big financial efforts we made for him.

"This lad thinks that the rules that govern a team are made for other people rather than him. If his agents think it worthwhile to find him a club in a country that values money differently to ours, then maybe he will soon play football again. Or maybe not. Perhaps it will be better that way."

If Balotelli moves, it will mark his eighth club in eight years since leaving Liverpool in 2016, where his stint was largely disappointing.

The Italian has had a colourful and tumultuous career and was once labelled as "unmanageable" by his former coach at Inter Milan, José Mourinho. It seems he was right.

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