On-loan Liverpool winger: I'll be cheering against the Reds!

Oussama Assaidi has made no secret of his allegiance come Sunday.

The £2.4 million August 2012 capture struggled in his first campaign at Anfield, making just four Premier League appearances as Raheem Sterling and company stood in his way.

A loan move to Stoke City this term has treated the Moroccan well, however, as he’s netted three times in 11 appearances – including a lovely strike against Everton to endear him to Reds supporters.

The Potters follow up their New Year’s Day clash with the Toffees with a visit from Liverpool at the weekend, and the 25-year-old may have already lost some of the admiration won on the turn of 2014.

Assaidi will be up in the stands for the encounter – barred from participating opposite his parent club – much to his chagrin, especially considering his form of late.

But he’ll be in full support of his current side nonetheless, hoping to see Mark Hughes’ men snatch three points away from his parent club at the Britannia Stadium.

"I would love to be involved in the game, but through rules and regulations that isn't possible unfortunately,” he told Stoke’s official website.

"There is nothing I can do about it, apart from sit on the sidelines and cheer my team-mates on, which is what I will be doing on Sunday.

"I want Stoke City to win the game of course, because this is where I am playing my football at the moment, and for as long as I am here I will want us to win every game we play.”

Is Assaidi rocking the boat here? Not nearly. Sure, Liverpool supporters won’t necessarily be pleased to hear his words, but he has a job to do and right now it’s for Stoke.

If anything his statement only re-raises the contentious rule rendering temporary signings ineligible to take the pitch against those holding their contract.

Other leagues – such as Serie A – don’t have similar rules and it’s common to see loanees turn out to face owning clubs.

For Assaidi, frustration is understandable. He’s hit a purple patch over the past four weeks but now is relegated to street clothes when he could be making a statement.

Many have called for an altering of the current loan system, but at present it looks unlikely changes will be made in the near future.

So Assaidi will do the only thing he can on Sunday without influencing matters inside the lines – support the men he lines up alongside week in and week out at the moment.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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