Oussama Assaidi is going the extra mile each day at Melwood in order to ensure Liverpool fans get used to the sight of him spearheading the Reds’ attack from wide positions in the coming weeks and months.
The winger has won over plenty of Kopites with his willingness to attack the opposition touchline and deliver crosses into dangerous areas in the games he has featured in since making his debut in September.
And now Assaidi is targeting further development in a bid to stake his claim for a regular role in Brendan Rodgers‘ first team.
“Every day I am learning about how to be better,” he told Liverpoolfc.com. “I want to be better. I go to the gym to make myself stronger.
“My quality is to take on defenders, get a cross in, cut inside and shoot. I like to create action and to make a cross. That’s how I play — I take defenders on. I hope the fans see more from me.
“The manager’s training is very good. He works a lot with the ball and on positioning. I like the way he thinks about football. He wants to play football with a 4-3-3 formation and use wingers, which is good for me.
“The manager gives me advice. He tells me that when the ball is on the right I must go inside and that I must go with my full-back when he goes forward.
“He gives us great training sessions and I learn a lot from his training. I think he is a good coach for Liverpool.”
Assaidi arrived on Merseyside from Heerenveen in August 2012 to become Rodgers’ third summer signing.
While he admits he faced a difficult challenge in adapting to life in a foreign country, the players and staff at Melwood — in particular the likes of Nuri Sahin and Luis Suarez — helped him settle into Liverpool life.
“I am settling in,” he said. “It is very difficult to be in a new country without family. But when I arrived everyone took me into the team. I speak to Nuri Sahin a lot and Luis Suarez. But I also speak with all the players.
“Steven Gerrard has helped me settle as well and it’s nice to be here — it’s going well, I think.
“It’s nice to play with the likes of Gerrard and Suarez. You can see on the training ground that they have quality but every player here has quality. If you don’t have quality then you don’t play for Liverpool.”
Reflecting on his two Barclays Premier League outings so far as a Liverpool player against Stoke and Norwich, the winger explained how the pace and the physicality of the English game is much more demanding than that of the Dutch Eredivisie.
“In the Dutch league they play too much football at times,” said Assaidi. “Here it is more physical and more box to box.
“It’s faster. But how we play at Liverpool is more like how we played in Holland: with a 4-3-3 formation and an aim to playing football. That’s the way I like to play.
“We played good football against Everton and Newcastle and [if we keep on playing] like this, the points are coming.
“The fans like to watch us because we try to play football and I think in time, the points will come for sure.”
Assaidi has experienced the Anfield atmosphere twice since he made his debut against Young Boys in Bern — and the right-footer admitted he is eager to get back out in front of the home crowd in a red shirt.
“[Anfield] is unbelievable,” he said. “It’s not normal. The atmosphere and the fans are great. I really enjoy it when I play at Anfield.
“It was a special moment to play my first game for Liverpool against Young Boys. But at that time I was not fully fit because I missed pre-season.
“Now I am getting fitter and fitter and I am getting stronger.”
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