Michael Owen claims Divock Origi blocked Liverpool’s transfer for Timo Werner and bemoans Chelsea’s deal for striker

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MICHAEL OWEN has bemoaned Liverpool missing out on Timo Werner to Chelsea – and claims that their loyalty to Divock Origi “blocked” a potential move for the German.

Origi, 25, was the Reds’ unlikely Champions League hero last season, netting crucial goals against Barcelona and Tottenham in the knockout stages.

The Belgian was subsequently handed a new contract in July last year, but has been limited to just six league starts this term.

And Owen, 40, has questioned the decision to reward Origi with the new deal – effectively preventing a move for Werner.

Following fellow pundit Ian Wright’s criticism of the striker’s performance against Aston Villa, Owen told Premier League Productions: “I agree with Wrighty.

“Will Origi and Takumi Minamino be there next season? Yes they will.

“Origi’s just signed a new contract and Minamino’s only just signed.

“They are there and they’re fixed but that doesn’t mean you can’t question whether they should be.

“Origi signing a new long-term deal was almost Liverpool… they were loyal to him weren’t they?

“He’d done what he’d done and all of a sudden they they thought he’s done that so you have to give them a new contract.

They signed Origi on a long-term contract that virtually ruled out a back-up striker and I’m not sure that they don’t need a better one.

“That’s now prevented them from going and spending big money on a back-up striker.

“Timo Werner was obviously a player that Liverpool were linked to and he’s eventually gone to Chelsea. I think that type of player would have been brilliant for Liverpool.

“They signed Origi on a long-term contract that virtually ruled out a back-up striker and I’m not sure that they don’t need a better one.”

Chelsea splashed £54million on Werner after the German international’s sensational season at RB Leipzig.

The 24-year-old notched 34 goals in 45 appearances this term for Julian Nagelsmann’s impressive side.

Meanwhile, having played second fiddle to Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Origi has managed just five goals in 39 outings for Jurgen Klopp’s men this time around.

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