As reported by The Stoke Sentinel, Stoke are looking to bring Assaidi to the club on a permanent deal, but chief executive Tony Scholes has admitted such a move could prove to be difficult:
We've spoken to Liverpool about Oussama and we've spoken to his agent. Sometimes deals look difficult to do and this one, if I'm frank, this is in the very difficult section.
We'll see. He had a great season with us last year. We like him a lot, we know what he can bring to the club and he knows the club, that's an advantage.
There is always a risk with any purchase of a player, but those are reduced substantially when you have had that player with you.
It's a deal we would like to do, but we will have to wait and see.
Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to change their valuation of the player, which is a lot higher than Stoke had anticipated. Interest from rival clubs and knee problems during the 2013-14 season only complicate matters for the Potters.
Assaidi joined the Reds from Dutch side Heerenveen in 2012 and saw only limited action with the club, leading to a loan move with Stoke. The Moroccan international made quite an impression with the Potters, operating mainly as a winger on the left side of the formation.
Liverpool purchased the player following a number of excellent performances with Heerenveen, and they could give him another chance at Anfield following his spell with Stoke. But they shouldn't.
Assaidi is talented, but he plays at a position where Liverpool already field a number of potential stars. As reported by Sky Sports, Adam Lallana could still be on his way to the club, only adding to what is already a strong group of wingers.
Unlike players like Lallana and Philippe Coutinho, Assaidi isn't the complete package. He's tricky with the ball at his feet, knows how to play a good cross and when his form allows, he'll run for days.
But he's not a particularly accomplished passer, and for a winger, he's not a tremendous threat in front of goal either. Per WhoScored.com, he score four goals in 19 total appearances for Stoke:
Assaidi is the perfect example of a small-club player—the kind of player who will shine for a mid-table side, looking like he's just too good for the people playing around him, but who can't make the step up in competition.
Think Alberto Gilardino, or Steven Pienaar. Both excellent players, on the condition they're put in the right situation. Assaidi can be a good Premier League performer in the right system, and Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool isn't it.
Rodgers expects his wingers to play quick, incisive passes when cutting inside. He likes to have scorers playing around Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, taking advantage of the space these two create by pulling in defenders.
That's not Assaidi's game. He's a solid player in his own right, but he doesn't fit what Rodgers looks for in a class winger.
Assaidi can be a great player, but he's just not Liverpool material. And there's no shame in admitting that. With interest in his services reportedly high, per The Sentinel, now would be the time to cut ties with the tricky midfielder.
The Reds are moving up in the world, with UEFA Champions League football on the horizon for next season. Adding Assaidi to the squad again wouldn't be a step forward, and his spot could be used on a player whose future at the club could be a whole lot brighter.
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