Friday, August 17, 2012

Assaidi has the task of replacing Liverpool legends

All you need to know about Liverpool new boy Oussama Assaidi

By Emdad Rahman
Original article

Exciting winger Oussama Assaidi becomes Liverpool’s third signing this summer and much is expected of the 24-year-old, who is tasked with filling the huge void left by the departure of Kop favourites Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt.

Assaidi follows in the footsteps of French born Nabil El Zhar by becoming the second Moroccan to wear the illustrious red of Liverpool Football Club.

Brendan Rodgers beat off close competition from Galatasaray, Spartak Moscow, and Ajax. Martin Jol has a track record for talent spotting and the Liverpool boss did well to beat a further effort to tempt the much sought after Assaidi to Craven Cottage.

The young Moroccan’s form in the Dutch League has made him hot property, with many big European clubs vying for his services. After failing to agree personal terms with his club Assaidi took the decision to leave.

With a year left on his contract Assaidi, who can operate on both flanks and through the middle, was set to join Ajax before Rodgers offered him a role in his Anfield rebuilding programme.

By swapping the Dutch Eredivisie for the English Premier League, Assaidi will triple the £7,000 per week wages he was paid at Heerenveen and will sign a four-year contract on Merseyside. Assaidi has the talent and will require the manager’s trust as well as his teammates support in order to try and emulate the contributions and achievements of two of Liverpool’s recent icons.

Despite being sounded out as more of a squad player there is much expectancy based on Assaidi’s ability to excite. The Abe Lenstra Stadion is a far cry from Anfield and Liverpool fans will give him time to bed in, hoping that the new boy can make his mark as well as his predecessors did in the famous red shirt.

Player facts

- Assaidi was eligible to play both for Morocco and Holland.

- His first goal for Heerenveen was in a 7–0 drubbing against SDC Putten in the 2009–10 KNVB Cup.

- Heracles Almelo were the opponents for Assaidi's debut league goal for Heerenveen.

- Assaidi’s first hat-trick was delivered against Dutch champions FC Twente during a 6-2 thrashing in 2010.

- Belgian legend Erik Gerets gave Assaidi his national debut, replacing Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers during a 4-0 win over Niger.

- Since making his international debut in early 2011 Assaidi has accumulated 22 caps for Morocco.

- The two footed wideman made 78 appearances for Heerenveen in total, scoring an impressive 20 goals.

- After scoring nine goals in 31 games during the 2009/10 season, PSV Eindhoven made transfer enquiries for Assaidi as a replacement for the departing Balázs Dzsudsák.

- His career has also included spells at De Graafschap and FC Omniworld in the Dutch Eresdivisie.

- Liverpool agreed an undisclosed fee for Assaidi, but the figure is thought to have matched the Ajax valuation of £3 million.

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