Football

Jans praises Liverpool's 'Maghrebian Messi'

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Assaidi must adapt to physical English nature. (©GettyImages)
Assaidi must adapt to physical English nature. (©GettyImages).

Oussama Assaidi can more than make the grade at Liverpool, providing he's given the time to do so, that is the opinion of his former manager, Ron Jans.

The 24-year-old Moroccan midfielder has made little impact since his €3million arrival on Merseyside in August, but the ex-Heerenveen coach is adamant he will be a success in the Premier League.

Jans coached Assaidi in the Eredivisie between 2010 and 2012, and is convinced he saw enough potential in the speedy winger to confidently predict he'll assert himself at Anfield.

"When Oussama first played at Heerenveen he had three different managers in one year and the last of those didn't give him a real chance," the Dutchman told LFC Magazine. "But as soon as I became coach I knew he could be a good footballer.

"He's very good in one-against-one situations when he's attacking defenders. He turns them left and right and when he was full of confidence he was a really special player, scoring goals and making a lot of assists.

"He had a really good season in 2010/11 and last year there was lots of interest in him."

Assaidi must be given time by Reds boss Brendan Rodgers to adapt to the demands of football in England, though, with the physicality something the nimble forward will have to learn to cope with.

When he does, however, Jans believes Liverpool will have an absolute gem, and start to see exactly what the 'Maghrebian Messi' - as he is referred to in Holland - is capable of producing.

"It will take him time to get used to the Premier League," he added. "Defenders are likely to be quite physical against him but once he gets used to that he can be amazing."

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
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