The Spanish attacker has found the going tough on Merseyside since his move to Anfield, and looks likely to miss out on regular first-team football.
The new season has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for most involved with Liverpool Football Club so far. The Anfield side sit pretty in second place in the Premier League after five wins from their first seven games, with Brendan Rodgers’ squad looking much stronger than the one he inherited back last summer.
Despite some of Rodgers’ new signings finding their feet at Anfield, one in particular has failed to convince the Kop of his merits as yet. Iago Aspas traded Celta Vigo for Liverpool over the summer in a £7.7 million deal, and arrived in England with a solid reputation after banging in 35 league goals over the course of the two previous seasons.
With Luis Suarez serving a suspension, Aspas was given a place in the side to partner Daniel Sturridge in attack. Glimpses of his ability were immediately evident, but it seems that the 26-year-old didn’t quite get the run of the green in the games that he was selected in.
With the Uruguayan forward now eligible for selection and back in the side alongside England’s Sturridge, it is likely that the pair will play together for the rest of the season when fit and available. Aspas clearly realises this and has admitted that he is not 100 per cent happy with having to take a place on the bench.
"I suppose on a personal level, I'm not as entirely happy as I would want to be because I still feel that I can do a lot better," Aspas admitted.
"But I'm working hard every day to try and improve and be able show that on the pitch to my teammates.
'I'm finding it hard to be a sub at Liverpool having started games in the past few years.
“When I left Celta Vigo I was aware that to start for Liverpool wasn't going to be easy.
“And now the team is winning and we are among the leaders in the Premier League, it's much hard to get a game.”
Regardless of the hard work that he is going to put in, the likelihood of Aspas replacing either Sturridge or Suarez in Rodgers’ side is slim. As such, in Liverpool’s new 3-5-2 system, Aspas may well be better suited to trying to command a place in the number ten role behind the attacking pair, as currently occupied by Victor Moses.
Aspas’ case immediately seems similar to another foreign attacker that arrived at Anfield with a lot of potential but was not given the chance to shine. Fabio Borini has been loaned out for the season to Sunderland after failing to make an impact on Merseyside, and it appears that due to the strength in depth in the Liverpool squad, Aspas may well have to make do with fleeting appearances from the subs bench this term.
image: © incendio