Over the past few days, Brendan Rodgers has disclosed that he does not expect there to be too much action for Liverpool this January. He has made mention of the desire to bring in a goalkeeper, but there doesn't appear to be any big moves planned before February arrives. A handful of exits are apparently likely, however, with Suso set for AC Milan sooner rather than later, Lucas possibly joining him in Serie A with a deal to join Inter looming, and now Oussama Assaidi, who had been on loan at Stoke City for a second season, heading to Dubai to join Al-Ahli on a permanent deal.
Like the move to bring him into Liverpool in the first place, this news comes out of nowhere, but with the Telegraph reporting a fee in the region of £4.75m, it's a deal that Liverpool can't really pass up. The Moroccan winger is clearly not in the plans on Merseyside, and while the club could have let his loan play out and see if better offers emerged in the summer, a deal now makes as much sense as anything else. Assaidi would be available to join the Dubai club immediately given that Morocco were disqualified from this month's African Cup of Nations after withdrawing as hosts.
Assaidi's Liverpool career never really got going, with only a few appearances in the Premier League during his only season actually with the club and a handful of middling performances in cup competitions. His only real standout display came against West Brom in the League Cup, showcasing plenty of skill on the ball and threat going forward. But opportunities just didn't come, and those that did failed to convince, leading Rodgers to send him out on loan each of the past two years.
His first spell at Stoke was somewhat successful despite interruptions due to injury, scoring four goals in the Premier League and one in the League Cup while making over 20 appearances in all competitions. This season he's only made three starts, however, and is yet to find the net with just a lone assist on record.
Hopefully this transfer--assuming it pans out--sees him earn more regular chances and does enough to keep him in the Moroccan setup for at least another World Cup cycle. Best of luck to him as he moves on.