2/24/2013 11:03:00 am

'There will be no return' - €4m star rejects LFC quit rumours. Good news...?

With only three starts in seven months, Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi has barely featured for the Reds since his summer move from Heereveen, and reports in Holland this week suggest that the Moroccan could leave Anfield in the summer transfer window.

Assaidi - who cost Liverpool €4m - was in Holland last night to watch his old team beat FC Twente, fuelling speculation that a return to the Abe Lenstra Stadio could be on the cards, but after the game, the 25-year old rejected the possibility of leaving Anfield. He told Reporters:

"It's nice when I get to play games, and there will be no return [to Heerenveen]. I just need to be patient and impress when I get the chance. It is Liverpool - a really great club, and everytime I'm on the field I enjoy it from"

Brendan Rodgers has used the Moroccan sparingly this season, and with the failed transfers of Nuri Sahin, and (arguably) Fabio Borini, it looked for a long time like Assaidi would end up being another poor transfer choice.

However, he returned to the side for Thursday's victory over Zenit St. Petersburg, and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Assaidi still has a future at the club, and in his press conference on Wednesday, he explained why Assaidi had been missing for most of the season:

"It's obviously been the form of the other players and the structure of the team that's been unfortunate for him. featured for us a lot early on in the season in the cup competitions. The league team has been a little more regular and the team has needed different requirements. He's working hard in training to impress and try and make the team."

If Assaidi doesn't fit the structure of the team, then why did Rodgers buy him in the first place? Instead of spending £16m+ on Sahin, Borini and Assaidi, Rodgers should've just used that money to buy ONE top quality player, and that could've been the difference between 4th place and struggling to finish in the top six.

With Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Suso, Stewart Downing and even Jose Enrique seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order, I don't see where Assaidi fits in, and despite his protestations to the contrary, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him leave this summer.

Does Assaidi have a future at Anfield?



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43 Comments :

Greg | Liverpool Kopites said...

At the moment, it looks obvious that he has no future at the club under BR. From his words, BR seems to think and play Assaidi more only when the stakes are low in games. The Zenit game might signal a change in that but I tend to think that the situation was more of BR's ego getting in the way with those substitutions.

From his handling of the signings so far, it even seems to appear that BR has no idea what his best structure/team/plan is and which players fit. Either that or he thinks money comes easy at LFC and can sign players just to try them out.

Jjj jo said...

I think he has the talent ,but every player who want to be great have to play games. maybe if brendan loan some of the young wingers he could add some experience to the side,and not just for one game. Patience is required for him, brendan, and the fans.

Simon Joseph Lau said...

Assaidi is a very good player though. It is a shame he just isn't preferred. 

Mark Whitelaw said...

I'd give him a go on the right either to replace Downing form the start or at some point during a game. He looked composed on the ball and he certainly is a good dribbler but we need someone who can not only fire accurate  crosses for Sturridge to get on the end of but someone who can cut inside and get shots on target.
If he can take players on and run through on goal without having to stop and look around or wait for help, then he'll be what we need. If not, I think Tom Ince is who we should seriously look to be bringing in as he can do the latter.

rouman.. said...

he,s playing better than sterling...and downing on the wing...and should be given the chance....why he has not played more...must be either rodgers...or maybey he does not fit in with most players...not sure but somethink wrong here...as some players picked have been poor...and he should of played..

mick said...

Rafa made about 80 of these type signings in his time at liverpool about 80 mil wasted. Kenny wasted millions on downers,adam carroll. With time rogers team will come good. Need to sort out the cb, gk positions. Would much rather have assadi than shelvey or downers. Some of the goals we have scored in recent weeks have been fantastic. Really hope we get our summer signings correct.

Savatage said...

Ofcause he has a future at Liverpool as soon as we're not only playing in the Premier Leaque (when his fit) - we'll need him next season. 

SA_Red said...

our only genuine winger (asside from Downing who doesn't cut it most of the time)...
I think we should hang on to this one!

Greg | Liverpool Kopites said...

I think if he'd played over the same stretch as Sterling, he'd have produced more. Sterling's got great potential, but clearly has lots to learn at this level before justifying the hype surrounding him.

trutherts said...

the most of what you say is correct but you have to remember that in rafa's first season he signed alonso and garcia which made it alot easier to see that he had sense 

Boss said...

Some pundit on tv said Assaidi should be nurtured to become a striker a la Suarez.  I think IMHO rotation policy should be made in every game at least (2 people rotated), so that the bench warmers get a chance, otherwise we all will be discussing this day in and day out, why didn't BR use this and that.
Oh also, I briefly heard on telly that LFC made more strikes on goal than any other Premier league team, was that true? If it is, wow what happened huh? We should have been team 1 in the rankings.

Mcleanrocks said...

JK, you spent a lot of time slating KD for playing players purely because he paid money for them. In this case you are slating Rodgers for not playing a player, and use the fact he paid money for him as a stick to beat him with. You have no idea what this guys attitude is like and what happens at training, which have much more bearing on who gets picked. As for the structure of the team, that has changed since he was signed so I don't see it as an issue. For 2mm, he's a squad player and will forever remain so...nothing wrong with that.

anteater said...

I find it refreshing that our manager plays players on form and on whom he thinks is best suited to a certain opponent or situation, regardless of who has signed a player. Surely some make a stick to beat him with out of this, but simply ask yourself whether you want players starting only because the current manager has signed them and tries to proof that they are worth their price tag. We've seen such favouritism in the past and it wasn't always for the better of the club.

Now, lets hope Assaidi will, just like Downing and Henderson before, force his way into the first team. I am convinced that Rodgers will play him when he proves that he's a better choice than others.

anteater said...

Most shots on goal? True. Unfortunately we are second bottom for shots on target. Have a look here: http://www.talksport.co.uk/magazine/features/130223/revealed-crucial-stats-liverpool-must-improve-become-force-under-brendan-192272

anteater said...

Or he doesn't protect the full-back at all when the opponents attack.

Jaimie K said...

You're misrepresenting my view. I criticised Dalglish for continually playing the likes of Henderson and Downing even though they were playing badly. Dalglish played them at the expense of others who could've made more of an impact.

In this case, Rodgers has hardly played Assaidi at all; it's not about playing him to justify his transfer fee, it's about giving the guy a chance to prove himself, and Rodgers hasn't done that.

Why do you mention attitude? There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Assaidi has any kind of attitude problem. It's seven months into the season and he's made only 3 starts. That is down to Rodgers, who basically admits Assaidi doesn't fit into the team's 'structure'

Carl said...

Good article Jamie, and I have to agree with what your saying, 
Assaidi is an exciting player that I would like us to keep, he has a good attitude and seems to believe in hard work which is commendable and a trait we need in all our players. Would like to see him feature much more, in my opinion he is as good as Sterling and these 2 should be rotated for the subs bench, coming on to liven things up, they are good potential future players. 
I think the real issue here is BR's transfer policy which I just don't understand at all. Why buy players that don't fit your team model, or buy players that are just never going to be given a chance to shine. Do you think he is buying cheap good potential players like Assiadi just to put LFC on their CV in an attempt to sell them on at a profit, hoping the fact they spent a year with us will generate greater income. I'm honestly bemused by it all, Something is not quite right, either the scouts don't understand BR's search brief or BR just doesn't know what he wants. I appreciate not all signings will be good ones, but why buy players that will never get a chance, seeing them in training only tells you so much about a player, the rest needs to be seen on the pitch in a competitive environment, sorry for long winded reply, but this transfer policy really annoys the hell out of me, c'mon Rodgers show you know what your doing in this area....

Carl said...

I've always said Johnson makes a better winger than a right back, 

Mark Whitelaw said...

We've also scored more goals this year than any other team. 18 league goals in 2013.

anteater said...

Many have said that for years, though four consecutive managers have thought otherwise. That's not to say that you are wrong. I, too, have thought about Johnson as a winger, but there must be some reason why not a single manager has tried it (also not on international duty, that would add more managers who didn't see it that way, plus managers at former clubs. They can't all be thick, can they?).

Now, when Johnson can attack from the back he often has more space to accelerate after going past the first opponent. When he receives the ball further up the pitch and isn't in full flight he, at least at times, looks a bit lost and then drifts inside with the ball instead of beating his man and staying on the wing to fire in a cross. Just a thought about why none of probably close to 10 managers who have worked with him has utilised him as a winger. Thoughts?

Mcleanrocks said...

I mention attitude as its the one thing we know nothing about, I'm just suggesting it as one thing BR might not like, wouldn't know before he signed him and not necessarily something he would be open with in media. I think he was also often not training due to sickness etc, might be that he is one to take day off if not 100%, whereas others would play through and appear more committed as a result. Just conjecture, but I'm saying its one thing which we don't see where it can explain why someone seemingly not given a chance.

Regarding structure, I think BR played a different way at start of the season than he does now and OAs playing time reflects that. Since team has settled we have even played 442 with Sturridge, which is a world away from the 433 br played at Swansea, and probably thought he would be playing when he signed OA.

Again at a low price for a sub, I not see the issue...25mm on joe Allen and Borini however, that's a different story!

Rowanuk said...

think he was bought as bargaining power for CE or other dutch based players. stoorman or mertens would be more useful.

Mcleanrocks said...

I was at the Zenit game (centenary stand, halfway line 2nd tier, great seats!) and saw him close up in first half, for about the 4/5 th time and you see better live than you do on tv why he cannot play right wing. You are spot on, when he is a full flight he is ok, but at a slower pace you realise his touch isn't all that. He can't switch direction, or pace very quickly (even compared to Downing!) and when he does get forward, he is very reliant on an error from a defender or something genius from those up front to make things happen. He cannot 'create' in the true sense of the word and do it by himself.

But for a fullback those qualities he has are excellent, hence the winger question constantly popping up. If he had someone truly quality ahead of him I think you would see him in the class of Alves, Cafu etc..almost.

He has suffered from having Kuyt and Downing ahead of him in recent years...as a result you can see that he doesn't get a lot of space as these players haven't taken any defenders with them so he runs up against a brick wall and doesn't have enough in his bag to get by, unless they make an error. If he had a player like Suarez (not saying play him on the wing, just someone with his trickery) who has got into defenders head and forcing them toworryabouthim, then GJ would have much more room to express himself and we would start to see lots more assists and goals.

Trev said...

thats exactly the case he just wouldnt get the runs onthe defender playing on the wing hes much more effective from deep

anteater said...

Exactly the kind of reply I had hoped for!

Funkdoc said...

I find this attitude excuse implausible as these are the sort of things you look at BEFORE you buy a player. What happened to doing due diligence?
One has to wonder if BR really does his homework or is it purely instinctive? I hope next season will offer more opportunities for Assaidi.

VermHat said...

Hard to really know a player's attitude without psych. tests. It isn't like Heerenveen would say 'this fella is a right pain in the arse' just before they sell him to us.

I'm not saying Rodgers couldn't have assessed his attitude, but it is harder and less direct than working out how good a passer someone is.

Unlucky Assaidi said...

i dont get why rodgers gives borini a chance and not assaidi. sahin was a player played out of position just like borini but he still managed 3 goals/3 assists in 12 games, premier league games included and from midfield positions. borini has played even more games than sahin and from forward positions but yet has only managed 1goal/0 assists in 16 games and the goal came on his debut(which means it should have nothing to do with confidence). for me that is very poor and he should be sold immediately. he's body frame is clearly not suited to the premier league which is why he's been injured twice and he cant score goals. he cost us 11M. assaidi cost us 3M but yet hes never been given the chance to build on a good performances but rodgers has done that every other player after they play well (shelvey, sterling, wisdom, suso, sahin etc) for me, i think rodgers has bullied assaidi and extremely unfair to the guy, if he doesnt get a premier league start come the end of the season rodgers should be ashamed of himself for 1.wasting money on a player who when on the pitch at times looks our best player 2.not giving him game time despite good performances. the thing what annoys me about this transfer is, what we have needed all season is just players that can beat there man with skill and create something extra for the team. we've bought in coutinho and sturridge but i believe all along we had a player who was capable of this in assaidi. expected big things when he was handed the number 11 shirt, and i have not been dissapointed in the boy at all, rather dissapointed in rodgers for his reluctance to play a very good winger. if we sold him, i bet we will see just how good he is and feel gutted

john wayne said...

i think that is the main reason. rodgers dont want risk it as he maybe wont track back, but come on you gotta give the boy a chance/start. hes never started him to know that or not

john wayne said...

this is also the first time of hearing assaidi talk about game time despite only being started 3 times which shows you he has good attitude, at the same time he says he needs to be patient. and you got the likes of shelvey who complain and then do absolute nonsense. assaidi has been abit too patient and any1 who compares him to sterling is crazy, sterling is still a school boy who gets bullied too easily. assaidi is far better than sterling (sterling has potential though) and he should have played in more europa league and fa cup games like mansfield and oldham, surely his trickery that he never fails to display will be too much for the likes of mansfield and oldham? assaidi also works very hard too

anteater said...

Assaidi has three starts to his name, so it is not as if he has never started. There has probably been enough evidence to know whether or not he tracks back and if he doesn't, then I am sure they are working on it on the train pitch.

unlucky assaidi said...

that is no where near enough starts. assaidi is actually the only player in our first team who isnt actually used. everyone else gets reasonable game time. 

anteater said...

You are, obviously, right. He isn't getting much playing time. I've been wondering why, as he has quite some ability on the ball. Hence my suggestions that he isn't tracking back enough and/or maybe does the wrong things or not enough of the right things in training.

billythecat said...

when will he get a game jamie ? i think i know the answer when he beats 2 he cannot take on 3 he must turn back from the goalline and knock the ball back to a defender who then play it back to uncle festa in goal and we can start playin chuckle brother football again at the back then he will fit our tic taca structure.

BEAST said...

ASSAIDI can be used as a discount voucher to get FISCHER or ERIKSEN from AJAX in the summer.

Hafizz Dec-x said...

I don't what happen between LFC and Assaidi.My opinion is Assaidi is much2 better than Sterling,Downing,Suso and Henderson for winger players.He has very special skill in dribble,passing and crossing the ball. Faster to make decsion and creative create the chance to score the goal.Maybe LFC want to use Assaidi to get Erikson or Fischer from Ajax. It is will good decision.Assaidi is LITTLE MESSI at BPL.

Hafizz Dec-x said...

Many people point to goalscoring problems but in truth they are living in past problems. Liverpool have only failed to score in 3 of their home matches this season, which is a sharp improvement to Kenny Dalglish's side in 2011/12.

Liverpool this season have in fact scored 49 goals, at a rate of 1.81 goals per game, which will see them end the season on 69 goals. Below are comparison stats to previous years dating back to the 2008/09 season.

2008/09 :- Goals Scored (77). Goals Scored PG (2.03)
2009/10 :- Goals Scored (61). Goals Scored PG (1.61)
2010/11 :- Goals Scored (59). Goals Scored PG (1.55)
2011/12 :- Goals Scored (47). Goals Scored PG (1.24)
2012/13 :- Goals Scored after 27 games. (49). Goals  Scored PG (1.81)

This season's goal per game rate is at its highest since the season we finished 2nd, so goals don't seem to be the problem this year. The amount of goals we have conceded is arguably a much bigger problem and one in my opinion that needs addressing first in the summer. Below are the comparison stats to previous years dating back to the 2008/09 season.


2008/09 :- Goals Conceded (27). Goals Conceded PG (0.71)
2009/10 :- Goals Conceded (35). Goals Conceded PG (0.92)
2010/11 :- Goals Conceded (44). Goals Conceded PG (1.16)
2011/12 :- Goals Conceded (40). Goals Conceded PG (1.05)
2012/13 :- Goals Conceded after 27 games. (34). Goals  Scored PG (1.26)

This season's goals conceded per game rate is at its highest for a number of years so the stats show its the defence that has had the most problems this season.

How can it be solved? A new goalkeeper? A new defensive partnership? Cover for Enrique? Whatever the answer is, it's important it is found and acted on in the Summer or we could suffer another season like this.

rubyrm said...

We will be seeing Assaidi less in action for the remaining season as we are out of basically everything. 

Lionheart11 said...

 Assaidi started three matches and looked like the best player on the fiels in all of them! He is a far better player than Suso, Sterling, Henderson, Borini, Shelvey and Downing put together. Sterling has been very poor, and yet he started most of the matches. What does he offer really? Scoring , dribbling or beating defenders? None ! Not to mention Jonjo.....my goodness! To play Jonjo and not Assaidi, is really hard to explain. Jonjo has no skill, or brain, he is too slow, too clumsy, and his tackles are all red card offences. Assaidi is fast, skillful, clever, can beat anyone, can shoot, can cross.......and BR never plays him! Something is totally wrong here!!

Mark Whitelaw said...

Good points but he has also signed Sturridge and Coutinho.
Every manager signs duds; there are little or no exceptions to this.

Mark Whitelaw said...

I think he would benefit from having a proper winger in front of him, or at least someone with either enought trickery & skill to pull defender out of position or possess an inch perfect cross. I like seeing the full back and right mid/winger overlap and smash defences up. One of the best in recent years (and it pains me to say this) was the Gary fucking Neville/Beckham partnership the mancs had on the right for years. Gary fucking Neville wasn't the best RB/RFB in the league but, when Beckham had the ball, the defenders were so worried about his passiing/crossing ability that they gave Gary fucking Neville the space required to whip a cross in. This is what Johnson needs.

Can anyone remember where the Gary fucking Neville reference comes form?

Theycallmemrburt said...

i dont get it either, but then i have no idea why pacheco wasnt given an extended run after it became apparent after 10 games of the season that sterling and Suso were nowhere near ready. 

Im behind Rodgers but I suppose every liverpool manager has had an issue with at least one player I thought should be in the team......Litmanan, Camara, and Beardsley were left out and sold and how Redknapp got in the team over Molby Ill never know.............. 

Sam said...

I don't get Rodgers some times. In the games Assaidi has played he's done reletively well so why not give him more chances. One can only guess its something on the training ground that's keeping him. For me he did a decent job against Zenit likes well on the left flank. He's seems to have more tricks up his sleve than sterling and downing. I would be gutte if he leaves.

While I'm at it again not happy about skrtels treatment. Yes he's not having the best of seasons but it was only last season he was out best player. You show me a player that doesn't have a dip in form. Personally if both him and Assaidi it would a massive mistake ontop of Borini and allen

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