In a move that nobody saw coming for a player many had forgotten was still on the club’s books, 26-year-old Moroccan winger Oussama Assaidi has today completed a £4.7M move to Al-Ahli Dubai FC of the UAE Arabian Gulf League. Assaidi arrived at Liverpool in 2012 as something of a surprise signing, so his sudden, unexpected, and perhaps even baffling departure two and a half years later seems somehow fitting.
Though the attacker wasn’t able to make an impact for the Reds following his arrival from Heerenveen for £2.5M, Liverpool have still managed to make a handsome profit on their investment. They recouped £1.5M by way of a loan fee from Stoke City last season, and now have sold him for nearly twice their original investment. With Liverpool in dire need of help both at striker and in goal, hopefully his surprise sale will help to fund reinforcements.
For Assaidi, it seems a step backwards during what should be the prime of his career. The reality, though, is that despite a solid showing for Stoke last year, the winger had failed to impress this season and has found his minutes limited. The Arabian Gulf League may not offer prestige, but it will offer playing time—and a decent payday for the speedy, technical Assaidi. It should also helps to keep him in the international picture with Morocco.
Assaidi was recalled from his Stoke loan late last week ahead of the deal. Though he didn’t make much of an impact for Liverpool, hopefully he can find some measure of success in the coming years with Al-Ahli.