Smart movement, keeping the ball moving, always making himself available as an outlet, and more committed defensively than many give him credit for. That and a knack for finding space in dangerous areas that seems as though it should be simple except few other players manage to do it quite so well. It's rarely flashy, and for a time it meant many were quick to look past him, but as his time at Liverpool comes to an apparent close there are few who remain unconvinced of the value of Maxi Rodriguez.
It's quite likely he will be remembered, when he does go, as the club's best free transfer signing, having arrived in January of 2010 from Atletico Madrid after spending four and a half years at the Spanish club. Since then, he's made 72 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool and scored 17 times, with 56 appearances and 15 goals coming in league action—and with it becoming increasingly clear that about the only possible mark against him is that he wasn't four years younger when he arrived.
He still has one year left on his current contract, but it would be hugely unexpected if Tuesday's game against Chelsea didn't end up being final time he plays in a Liverpool shirt. It may not have been a final match that reached quite the heights set by hat-tricks against Birmingham and Fulham towards the end of the 2010-11 season, but it was still the kind of smart and assured performance on the left that Liverpool have noticeably lacked when he isn't playing. And unfortunately for the club, it's hard to imagine anybody currently on the squad being able to step up to fill that role next season if he is indeed heading back to boyhood club Newell's Old Boys.
But all of that is for the future. For now, enjoy a bit of Maxi's smart football along with his seemingly telepathic understanding with Luis Suarez, perhaps while hoping that against all odds Liverpool's number eleven stays at the club for one more season before heading home.
Video by Mostar.