Arriving with a relative lack of fanfare and for a relatively modest £3.5M transfer fee during Brendan Rodgers' first summer in charge at Liverpool Football Club, Oussama Assaidi went on to do about what one would expect an unheralded bargain buy to do. As a result, this season he's found himself out on loan at Stoke City and with a rather uncertain footballing future.
He's been out of the action with a knee injury since February, but until then he had been Stoke's most dangerous attacking threat, doing enough that Liverpool could likely turn a small profit selling him back to the Eredivisie or to a mid-table Premier League side. There's also a chance Rodgers would want him back, but Assaidi claims he's in the dark when it comes to such questions.
"I don't know what the options are," admitted the 25-year-old Moroccan winger. "I don't know what Stoke want; I don't know what Liverpool want yet. But I enjoy Stoke. I am happy but I don't know what my future is yet. I get on well with my team-mates and I'm very happy playing for the manager here. The club is good for me and my time here has been a good one."
He may not know exactly what his future holds, though when it comes to a Liverpool return he sounds more than a touch fatalistic about his chances of making a lasting impression. He says he doesn't know if he has a future at Anfield—but he doesn't think Rodgers has much use for his type of winger and doesn't want to spend another season sitting on a bench watching others play football.
"I'm a winger, and Liverpool don't play so much with wingers," he said. "They play with midfielders on the side. That's, I think, what [Rodgers] wants. I still have a contract with Liverpool and I hope the boss gives me a fair chance. If not, I do not want to sit on the bench because I want to play games so you never know what can happen in the future."
Assaidi could, of course, return to Liverpool and score ten goals as an invaluable attacking option next season. That doesn't seem likely, though, and one rather imagines that the winger is right to be less than enthused when it comes to his chances, with a permanent home somewhere other than Liverpool likely the best option for all parties.