Was Iago Aspas a victim of Liverpool's unexpected success?

Iago Aspas Celta Vigo

The striker has left the club on loan after a poor season at Anfield.

Liverpool forward Iago Aspas completed his season-long loan move to La Liga side Sevilla yesterday after a disappointing first season on Merseyside. 

Aspas signed for a fee of £7.7 million from Celta Vigo on the back of a promising season in Spain but only managed to score the one goal for the Reds in an FA Cup third round tie against Oldham Athletic.

When Luis Suarez was serving the remainder of his suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic from towards the back end of the previous season, Aspas was used in the early stages of the season - but rarely seen after that. 

One could argue that he wasn't destined to be a top performer at Liverpool given the nature of his role, and how he came about joining Liverpool.

Last season the Reds may have been in the market for top class players. Henrikh Mkhitaryian, Diego Costa and Willian all attracted Liverpool's interest, but none arrived - with a lack of Champions League football proving to be one of the sticking points. 

So Liverpool went after players were the Champions League was not too much of a sticking point, Aspas was one of them. With Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez blossoming towards the end of the previous season it was inevitable that he was going to be a back-up striker to those two, and their impressive form obviously showed no need for either of them to be dropped. 

Aspas's performances didn't set the world alight in the early stages of the season, but in the early stages very few said he had a particularly bad performance. 

As Liverpool's season began to gather pace, the expectations were raised. Now it was no longer about qualifying for the Champions League, but attempting to lift the Premier League title. Manager Brendan Rodgers probably didn't fancy him as a player of that calibre even if he was called upon on a couple of occasions from the bench.

When he did feature, he didn't seem altogether comfortable. In the pre-season games he was playing in a more advanced on the shoulder of the strikers, whilst there were times we has playing off the striker and in wider positions when he featured.

There was an evident gulf between those starting games week in, week out and those sitting on the bench. Maybe he became a victim of Liverpool's unexpected title challenge last season. It seems like he was bought as a stop-gap, someone to help the Reds along the patch, when in fact they got there quicker than they had anticipated.

The loan move is good for all parties. A move to a club that will give him regular game time and a chance to prove himself - and an option for the Reds to cut their losses if he impresses the Europa League winners.

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