Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Monday October 14 2013
Spaniard Iago Aspas has admitted he is finding life at Anfield hard but remains committed to improving the situation...
Liverpool forward Iago Aspas was highly sought-after when the Reds snapped him up over the summer but so far he has struggled to fully shine on Merseyside.
The £7million capture from Celta Vigo was hugely significant in helping his former club avoid the La Liga drop last season with 12 goals and a series of tenacious displays.
An impressive pre-season with the Reds, which heralded four goals, also pointed to a bright future but Aspas is yet to find the net in competitive action for his new club and in recent weeks has been largely confined to the substitutes bench.
Something which the 26-year-old admits, in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca published over the weekend, he has struggled to adapt to.
"I'm finding it hard to be a sub at Liverpool having started games in the past few years," said Aspas.
"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 very hard to get a game.
"I hope to carry on working hard and little by little to get more game time with Liverpool. I want to change the current situation.
"Now it's difficult to get in the Spain team because I'm playing less but I'm not worried about that. However, I will try to get in the squad."
Aspas started the campaign in manager Brendan Rodgers' starting eleven but was predominantly played in a wide position to accommodate Daniel Sturridge as the preferred loan front man.
A recent change in tactics has seen Liverpool operate with two central forwards but unfortunately for the diminutive attacker it has coincided with the return from suspension of star striker Luis Suarez.
Together the Sturridge/Suarez partnership has yielded five goals in the subsequent three games, leaving Aspas with a purely watching brief.
His chances of further game time on the flanks have also been hindered by the deadline day capture of Victor Moses.
The on-loan Chelsea man has started every one of the five games played since his arrival at the beginning of last month.
In total, the No.9 has appeared six times, including four starts, but is yet to complete a full 90 minutes let alone notch his first strike in English football.
Compounding the issue is Liverpool's current lack of European football and an early elimination from the League Cup, meaning matches are less frequent than usual. Indeed, until the Reds enter the FA Cup in January, they having only league fixtures to occupy their calendar.
While it is still too early to write Aspas off completely it is very hard to see him nailing down a regular starting birth. Technically he is very good but not being a natural finisher and having to compete with Sturridge and Suarez for his favoured position makes things incredibly difficult. Out wide he looked ineffective and, partly due to his lack of physical presence, the play often broke down when he was involved. Aspas can still be extremely useful to Liverpool but he will have to accept that he just isn't going to play every week. He's by no means a bad player but the truth of the matter is several other personnel on the books are better.
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Date:Monday October 14 2013
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