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Liverpool legend Barnes says Origi and Wanyama will flourish in England


Liverpool legend, John Barnes, believes that Kenyan-born Belgian Liverpool striker Divock Origi has a bright future and is one of the hottest prospects at Anfield.

Origi joined the Kops at the summer of 2014 but was loaned back to Lille for a season before linking up with the English club at the beginning of this season.

Although he has featured sparingly for the Reds, Barnes, himself a Liverpool legend from the 80s and 90s, believes that the 20 year old son of Kenya’s legendary striker, Mike Okoth, will flourish at Anfield.

Speaking to Sunday Nation at the Kasarani Stadium where he oversaw this year’s edition of the Standard Chartered-sponsored Road to Anfield tournament, the retired England international said:

“Divock is young and has a lot of potential. We all know about his ability. He lit up the 2014 World Cup and he’s a reflection of what Liverpool is at the moment.”

“The team is on ascendancy and he too is making improvements. I’m sure with Klopp (Jurgen) working with them, they will get better,” he added.

‘WANYAMA IS STRONG’

Barnes at the same time spoke highly of Harambee Stars skipper and Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama whom he says is cut for the English Premier League.

“He (Wanyama) is big, strong and has good technique. He’s suited for the Premier League. He can play at the top level. The problem he’s had is the perception that he does not come from a football country,” Barnes said.

“Unlike West Africa, much is not known about Kenya in regards to football and I hope with his (Wanyama) performances, he can change that.”

Since joining Southampton from Scottish giants Celtic, two and a half seasons ago, Wanyama has been a mainstay at the Saints featuring prominently in the team both under Mauricio Pochettino, who signed him from Celtic and who currently coaches Tottenham Hotspur, and his current manager, Dutchman Ronald Koeman

Barnes, 52, had a highly successful career at Anfield where he made 407 appearances from 1987-1997 scoring 108 goals. He also earned 79 caps for England.

Among his career highlights include Player of the Year award 1987-88 and 1989-90, top scorer (1989-90) and two premier league champion winners’ medals.

Barnes at the same time said that he does not expect Liverpool to finish in the top four this season but is tipping his former club to improve next term.