It's a difficult task to pick between Liverpool's best striker at the present moment--there's goals, creativity, and workrate in bunches, and a budding partnership that's showing signs of turning into one of the most threatening strike duos in the Premier League. That's a wonderful prospect for Liverpool, who have struggled to score goals with any sort of consistency over the past few season, but not so much for Iago Aspas, who's seen his early season minutes disappear almost entirely as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge lead Liverpool's attack.
The preseason was as good as it got for the former Celta Vigo man; he was everything we could have hoped for and more as Liverpool ran through their first four preseason fixtures unbeaten, scoring impressive goals and showing promising movement and linking play across the forward areas. The start of the league season wasn't quite as successful, however, as he looked lost when asked to play deeper in attack or from a wide area. Concerns about petulance and coping with the physicality and pace of the Premier League suddenly looked valid, and when Suarez was eligible once again, there was no questioning the decision to put Aspas on the bench.
Early struggles haven't deterred the striker's attitude, and he's adamant that he'll make the necessary adjustments to have a positive influence in Liverpool's attack:
"I'm finding it hard to be a sub at Liverpool having started games in the past few years. When I left Celta Vigo I was aware that to start for Liverpool wasn't going to be easy. And now the team is winning and we are among the leaders in the Premier League, it's much harder to get a game. I hope to carry on working hard and little by little to get more game time with Liverpool. I want to change the current situation. Now it's difficult to get in the Spain team because I'm playing less but I'm not worried about that. However, I will try to get in the squad."
Talk of a call-up to the Spanish national team seems optimistic at best, and Aspas would appear better served at the current time by focusing on how he's going to work his way past Sturridge and Suarez at the club level. If both remain healthy and Brendan Rodgers decides to stick with the 3-5-2 it's hard to see anything other than minutes off the bench, and even if the formation shifts, there's no guarantee that Aspas gets the nod ahead of Victor Moses or Raheem Sterling.
A bumpy patch to start his Liverpool career means little in the long-term, and there's no shame in finding yourself third choice behind the current iterations of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. But it seems clear that Iago Aspas is going to have to be patient in his first season on Merseyside, and he'll have to make the most of the chances he does get if he's going to feature with any regularity moving forward.