Jordan Henderson was quick to lead the plaudits for Divock Origi after the Belgium striker marked his return to pre-season action with a brilliant goal during a 2-0 win over AC Milan at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Liverpool’s No.27 was making his first appearance since featuring for his country at Euro 2016, and he fired the opening goal with a superb turn and finish.
The Reds captain insists there is still much more to come from Origi and has backed him to have a big impact on the squad during the forthcoming campaign.
“Since he’s come into the club he has progressed throughout his time here and he is getting better and better,” Henderson told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I thought he finished last season brilliantly and then got a bad injury, but he is looking sharp in pre-season again and I think he is going to have a big season because he is a big player for us.”
Reflecting on the overall display against the Serie A giants in the International Champions Cup, the England international hailed a “complete performance” which he believes offers encouraging signs for the season ahead.
He added: “I think we are very pleased obviously with the performance, the way we worked for the full 90 minutes and the goals as well, so all round it was a good night.
“I felt good and like I said [recently] it’s the best I have felt in a long time coming into a pre-season. I’ve been working hard and I felt good out there, as did a lot of the other lads as well so it was a complete performance.
“We still want to improve on certain things, maybe score a few goals with the chances we created but overall we are happy with the performance.”
The captain admitted it was nice for the team to be able to put into practice the work being carried out by Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff on the training field.
Asked what the manager expected from his side against the Italians, he said: “He wanted us to win the ball back as quickly as possible and make sure we kept our shape, keep the ball in the final third and keep creating chances which I thought we did very well throughout the game which was pleasing.”
Roberto Firmino added the second goal following a great run down the right flank by Sheyi Ojo, and the Brazilian celebrated in style with a brilliant pose for the cameras.
“It was a nice little pose from him wasn’t it! I thought Roberto was brilliant when he came on so his confidence is sky high,” he continued.
With the squad set to leave their California base and depart for their final port of call in St. Louis, Henderson took time to praise the facilities and the fantastic support the team has received.
He said: “It’s [the welcome] been brilliant. We had a really good training setup and training camp.
“The fans have been brilliant throughout the time we have been here and I’d like to say thanks to them and hopefully we can come back soon.”