Oussama Assaidi’s Liverpool career has come and gone without him making his presence felt at Anfield.
Liverpool announced Monday that Assaidi has joined Al Ahli Club in the United Arab Emirates on a permanent transfer. Assaidi, 26, had spent the last season and a half on loan at Premier League club Stoke City after failing to break into Reds’ first team during his two-year Anfield career.
Assaidi’s transfer fee officially is undisclosed, but the Liverpool Echo and The Telegraph report Al Ahli paid the Reds around £4.7 million ($7.1 million) to bring the Moroccoan winger to Dubai.
Assaidi leaves Liverpool (and Stoke City) for the reigning champion of the UAE’s Arabian Gulf League (first division). Al Ahli currently is sixth in the Arabian Gulf League standings, and Assaidi should receive plenty of playing time both domestically and in the 2015 AFC Champions League, which kicks off next month.
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers made Assaidi one of his first signings in the summer of 2012 when he paid Dutch club Heerenven £2.4 million ($3.6 million) for the promising attacker. Liverpool had high hopes for Assaidi, but he played in just 12 games for the Reds.
Assaidi scored five goals and set up two more in 25 games (in all competitions) for Stoke City last season. He started in just four of the 11 games he played for the Potters this term, scoring no goals and registering two assists.
Liverpool might use the funds Assaidi’s sale generated to further its transfer market activity, either in January, next summer or beyond. The Reds can consider themselves fortunate to profit from the sale of a player who did little to enhance his reputation during his two-year spell in English soccer.
Photo via LiverpoolFC.com