Dutch Manager Tips Liverpool Signing to Shine
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | October 15, 2012 8:37 PM EST
The 24 year old Moroccan international signed for the Reds this summer, from Dutch side Heerenveen, for £3m but has yet to see regular first team action at Anfield. The creative midfielder has made only five appearances for the club so far and two of those (against Norwich and Stoke in the Premier League) were from the substitute's bench. In fact, he has yet to start a league game - his three starts were in the Europa League and Capital One Cup - with youngsters Suso, Raheem Sterling and Jonjo Shelvey preferred in his place.
Nevertheless, Jans, who coached Assaidi when the two were at Heerenveen (between 2010 and 2012), is adamant his former star has all the attributes to shine as a Liverpool player.
"When Oussama first played at Heerenveen he had three different managers in one year and the last of those didn't give him a real chance. But as soon as I became coach I knew he could be a good footballer," he told the Reds' Web site, adding, "He's very good in one-against-one situations when he's attacking defenders. He turns them left and right and when he was full of confidence he was a really special player, scoring goals and making a lot of assists."
Jans then pointed to a Dutch league game from the 2010 season, in which Heerenveen hosted reigning league champions FC Twente and then humiliated the visitors 6-2. Assaidi scored three of those goals and set up the other three in a masterclass.
However, for all his praise, Jans was also quick to admit Assaidi needed time to get used to the Premier League and the style of play, pointing out that his former player would struggle a little, initially, against the physical and direct style of defending in England.
"It will take him time to get used to the Premier League," the 54 year old coach explained, adding, "Defenders are likely to be quite physical against him but once he gets used to that he can be amazing. He knows there are areas that he can improve. But he is very keen to learn and is a player who always wants the ball."
Liverpool will return to Premier League action after the international break with two games at Anfield, on 20 October and 25 October against Reading and Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala (a Europa League game) before travelling across town for a local derby against Everton.
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