LIFE at Liverpool for Oussama Assaidi started fast; unfortunately for him this was only because he was observing Ramadan.
What makes matters worse for him is that the time he’s been granted on the pitch since his move has also been particularly lean.
Recent rumours emanating from the Dutch transfer gurus at voetbalinfo.nl have suggested that Oussama Assaidi’s time may well be up at Liverpool with the club looking to trade him in for the Man City-destroying Siem de Jong.
Of course this is the nature of the January free-for-all where any player can be linked anywhere. I mean Andy Carroll to Liverpool for £35m? That will never happen and Remy to QPR? Don’t make me laugh! But there is something suspicious about Oussama Assaidi’s Liverpool career so far and it would not be a shock if he departed the club only 5 months after signing.
If his Anfield career were to be cut short, then it would not be without some level of disappointment. Although his appearances have been brief and intermittent, his actual levels of performance have been promising.
He may well be the most one footed winger to grace the turf at Anfield but the trickery with his right foot sees him get the better of his man far more often than not. Not only that, he has not looked a player who is all deception and no end product. He has put some menacing balls in not least the assist for Sahin, another man with a mystery behind him, against West Brom in the League Cup.
However, a move may well be in Assaidi’s mind given his paucity of minutes on the pitch, particularly in a position where so many have been given the chance to try their luck. It must wrench the winger to see Enrique deployed ahead of him and then still not be given an opportunity once the Spaniard suffered injury.
These arguments do not hold a great deal of weight though when one considers that Borini did not perform particularly well and then broke his foot; Downing was told that his future at Liverpool was under review and his other rivals to the slot were… Joe Cole and Jose Enrique? Surely Assaidi’s Herenveen record of 22 goals in 93 games was worthy of some sort of run in the team.
Assaidi did have injuries of his own, although they too seemed slightly suspicious, but to not even be tried ahead of Cole and Enrique appears an odd choice. That Enrique played so marvellously could not have helped Assaidi’s situation but there appears to be another issue behind the scenes as to why Assaidi has not even been afforded a single Premier League start.
To venture a guess as to why he has not seen more action would be pure speculation and while it is tempting to suggest all manner of ludicrous scenarios to answer the Assaidi puzzle, and privately I encourage everyone to do this, it is perhaps simply a case that he doesn’t quite fit into the Rodgers paradigm. Either way the mystery continues…