Assaidi playing for Morocco in 2011
|Full name||Oussama Assaidi|
|Date of birth||15 August 1988|
|Place of birth||Beni-Boughafer, Morocco|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Current club||Stoke City
(on loan from Liverpool)
|2013–||→ Stoke City (loan)||6||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:00, 7 December 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Assaidi began his career in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar. After failing to earn a contract with AZ he played with second tier club FC Omniworld and then De Graafschap before joining Heerenveen in 2009. His performances at the Abe Lenstra Stadion earned him international recognition with Morocco and also attracted the attentions of bigger European clubs. Assaidi signed with English Premier League side Liverpool in August 2012 for a fee of £2.4 million. However he struggled to break into the first team at Anfield and joined Stoke City on loan for the 2013–14 season.
Assaidi began his career with the AZ Alkmaar academy where he spent three years before leaving in 2006 to begin his professional career at Omniworld in the Eerste Divisie. After two seasons with the club from Almere, where he scored 3 goals in 36 games, he moved to De Graafschap to play in the Eredivisie, the top flight of Dutch football in the summer of 2008. Assaidi spent just one year with the club, before moving to SC Heerenveen on the last day of the transfer window. The move was seen as surprising because Heerenveen had said that they were not planning to buy any new players, but the performance of Assaidi at the beginning of the 2009–10 Eredivisie, scoring five goals in five games, meant that an exception was made to bring Assaidi to the club.
Assaidi made his debut for SC Heerenveen in a 1–0 loss at home to arch-rivals FC Groningen, where he came on in the 71st minute as a substitute for Paulo Henrique. He also scored his first goal for Heerenveen in the second round of the KNVB Cup, in a 7–0 away win against SDC Putten. After coming off the bench in the next three league games, Assaidi was given his first place in the starting line-up for in an away match against Willem II, which Heerenveen lost 4–1. Assaidi's first league goal for Heerenveen came in a 3–1 defeat to Heracles Almelo, which was also the first game where he played the full 90 minutes for the club. Assaidi lost his starting place towards the end of the season, with only 2 starts in the last 14 games of the season. It was during this period that Assaidi received the first red card of his career in an away match against Roda JC Kerkrade, after just 9 minutes.
Under new manager Ron Jans, Assaidi became a key figure in the side. With 2 goals against his old club De Graafschap and Vitesse, combined with 2 assists against De Graafschap and NAC Breda, Assaidi was responsible for 4 goals in the first 6 games, the same amount of goals that he created in his whole previous season. Assaidi had his best month in November 2010, when he scored in a 2–0 win against Excelsior, and delivered 2 assists against Heracles Almelo (3–2), 1 against Feyenoord (2–2) and 2 against Willem II (5–0). In December, Assaidi displayed a Man of the Match-performance in a home match against defending champions FC Twente, where, despite an ankle injury, Assaidi led Heerenveen to a crushing 6–2 win over the champions by scoring the first hat-trick of his career, whilst also delivering 2 assists and winning a penalty. After the match, he was applauded for his performance by Jans, who said that Assaidi deserved a "10 out of 10 for his play". His performances would later be rewarded with a first international call-up by Moroccan team coach Erik Gerets for a friendly against Niger.
On 17 August 2012, Premier League side Liverpool agreed a deal to sign Assaidi for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £2.4m. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed the deal, saying that he was "delighted", and described Assaidi as "an exciting player...that will excite the crowd". He made his debut on 20 September against Young Boys in a 5–3 Europa League win, before registering an assist in a 2–1 win over West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup six days later. Due to impressive performances from young fellow wingers Raheem Sterling and Suso, Assaidi failed to break through to Liverpool's regular starting line-up making 12 appearances in 2012–13 of which four were in the league.
Loan to Stoke City
On 27 August 2013 Assaidi joined Stoke City on loan for the 2013–14 season. Speaking after joining Stoke Assaidi revealed that he turned down other Premier League clubs after he held positive talks with manager Mark Hughes. He made his debut for Stoke in a 3–1 victory over Walsall in the League Cup on 31 August 2013. He played in the next round of the League Cup Tranmere Rovers after coming on as a 61st-minute substitute, he provided an assist for Peter Crouch to secure a 2–0 victory. He made his Premier League debut for Stoke on 5 October 2013, coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute in a 1–0 defeat against Fulham. Assaidi scored his first goal for Stoke in a League Cup match against Birmingham City on 29 October 2013. Assaidi scored his second goal for Stoke as a late winner in a Premier League match against Chelsea on 7 December 2013.
Assaidi was eligible to play for both The Netherlands or Morocco. His first invitation for a senior team came in February 2011, when the national team coach of Morocco, Erik Gerets, called him up for Morocco's friendly match against Niger. Assaidi made his debut in Morocco's 4–0 win over Niger, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute for Adel Taarabt. However, since it was a friendly, Assaidi was still eligible to play for the Netherlands. He announced on 14 February 2011, that his choice for Morocco was definite. Oussama was called up against for Morocco's qualification match for the 2012 African Cup of Nations against Algeria. The match was played on 27 March 2011. Assaidi came on as a substitute in the 89th minute of the match, meaning that his services on international level became exclusive to Morocco, however he could not prevent his home nation losing 1–0 against the Algerians.
Assaidi received another call-up for the 4th group match on 4 June, again facing Algeria, but this time in Marrakech. In a 4–3–3 formation, Assaidi was given a place in the starting line-up on the right wing. Morocco cruised to a 4–0 win, with Assaidi scoring his first international goal as well. The result meant that Morocco would take the lead in the group, giving them a good chance to qualify for the Africa Cup.
|1.||6 June 2011||Stade de Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco||Algeria||
||2012 African Cup of Nations qualification|
- As of match played 7 December 2013
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[A]||Total|
|Stoke City (loan)||2013–14||Premier League||6||1||0||0||3||1||–||–||9||2|
- As of 16 August 2012.
|Morocco national team|
- Home – sc Heerenveen
- Voetbalzone – Jans: 'Assaidi heeft wat mij betreft vandaag een '10' verdiend'
- gerets roept assaidi op voor marokko | nusport.nl/eredivisie | Voor het laatste nieuws van elke sport
- "Reds agree deal for winger". Liverpool F.C. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Liverpool to sign Oussama Assaidi from Heerenveen". BBC Sport. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Liverpool see off Ajax and Fulham to sign Oussama Assaidi for £2.4m". The Guardian. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Liverpool agree Assaidi deal". Sky Sports. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Young Boys 3-5 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "West Brom 1-2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Oussama Assaidi: Stoke City sign Liverpool winger on loan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Assaidi Signs For City". Stoke City F.C. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Oussama Assaidi delighted to make 'attractive move' from Liverpool to Stoke City". The Sentinel. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "Stoke 3-1 Walsall". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "Tranmere 0-2 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Fulham 1-0 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Birmingham 4-4 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Stoke City 3-2 Chelsea".
- Assaidi kiest voor Marokko – Eredivisie – AD
- Match report – Match report Morocco – Algeria, 04.06.2011 – Afrika Cup Quali – transfermarkt.co.uk
- Oussama Assaidi career stats at Soccerbase
- "Assaidi, Oussama". National Football Teams. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
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