Another surprise at the end of the transfer window. While Ajax Amsterdam negotiated with Oussama Assaidi about his high salary demands, Liverpool snatched up the winger with the speed of Usain Bolt and paid 5 million euro (£ 3,92 million) for his services. Heerenveen manager Marco van Basten will miss him badly, since Assaidi makes defenders into lamp-posts. After being taken over by De Graafschap from Almere City, he made a big impression last year in the front line of SC Heerenveen, where he contributed with Luciano Narsingh to the 32 goals of Dutch top-scorer Bas Dost. He played 22 matches for his national team.
The 24-year-old Moroccan doesn’t seem to be a real club player. After having said “I want to play for Ajax, living close to his family in Amsterdam” and “I would stay at Heerenveen, if the salary was right”, he chose for Liverpool who were willing to pay the desired amount. New Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers is trying to give Liverpool a boost after Dirk Kuyt left earlier this year.
Liverpool fans will be glad not to have to rely so heavily on Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing down the wings. Assaidi, signing a contract that ties him for four years to the English club is with Fabio Borini and Joe Allen, the third new player Liverpool acquired during the transfer window. The player who
Whether the player made the right choice remains to be seen. Examples of players who earned a good pay but made it only to the bench are numerous. (Dutch national player Winston Bogarde who ”played” for Chelsea is one of them.) In the top of Dutch football Assaidi could have blossomed more whilst still playing in the highest levels like the Champions League.
Former Assaidi scout and assistant manager of Heerenveen Jan de Jonge is not sure either. “He is unquestionable gifted, but not an easy guy to work with. To survive in the Premier League, he has to work on his physic development especially with all his physical misery he faced in recent years. Hopefully he will keep his mobility”. Although Rodgers said not to expect too much from him in the beginning, he will face some tough competition and expectations. So it remains to be seen if the Reds will enjoy the talents of Assaidi. But the Moroccan born player couldn’t wait. Neither could Rodgers.
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