Brendan Rodgers has said that £6m arrival from Spain in the summer, Luis Alberto, has had a “difficult” start at Liverpool FC and has commended Iago Aspas on his professionalism.
Brendan Rodgers has been quizzed by many journalists over why Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas were brought to Liverpool when they have hardly featured for the side. Many supporters and pundits have labelled the two signings as ‘flops’.
A lot of Liverpool supporters have wondered why Luis Alberto has not played more for Liverpool, as the youngster has shown glimpses of talent in whatever little time he has featured for the side. The Reds boss has now said that Alberto was signed from Sevilla last summer keeping the long-term future in mind and has said that the Spaniard will be part of the Merseyside outfit’s games in the future.
The Spaniard has made a total of 12 appearances this season, but is yet to start a Premier League game.
The last time he featured for the Anfield outfit was as a substitute against Everton in January where he made a ‘cameo’ appearance in the word’s true sense playing 11 minutes. Since then, he has twice been an unused sub, but has not featured in Liverpool’s previous eight matchday squads.
“It’s probably been a difficult season for Luis because he hasn’t had many opportunities to make an impact. But he needs to keep working. He’s still a very young player and he does have quality. It shows you the level of where we are at”, said manager Brendan Rodgers
“It was a signing for the long term, that was the idea. He’s a young player who has come in and sampled life at a big club and made a contribution.
“He will stay with the group for the rest of the season and then we will review his development come the summer.”
Rodgers has also admitted that the emergence of other young players such as Joao Carlos Teixeira, who made his league debut for the Reds in February, has increased competition in the Liverpool squad, even for the bench:
“I look at training and assess it every day. Luis is working hard but we’ve had young players coming in and making an impact like Joao, who has been exceptional. I’m always looking at the dynamic of the squad and it changes from week to week depending on the game.”
Rodgers also spoke about the other Spaniard who has been dubbed as a transfer ‘flop’ for the club. Iago Aspas cost Liverpool £7.7m when he was purchased from Celta Vigo last July, but the 26-year-old has found the going tough almost throughout the season. Swansea were likely to get the player on loan in the summer with Michu even going on the record to ask the Welsh club to sign him. Aspas was highly rated at Celta as he got the Spanish club promoted to the La Liga and in the following edition, kept it away from relegation. However, with Liverpool having two of the best strikers in the league, naturally, Aspas has been receded to the bench. Rodgers acknowledged Aspas’s professionalism and said:
“I really feel for Iago. It’s been so difficult for him. He has a world-class striker in Luis Suarez for competition and another who has come in and done exceptionally well in Daniel Sturridge. Daniel is potentially world class and I’m sure we will see that over the coming seasons.
“But that has never stopped Iago working well every day in training. He has never given up the fight. He may have only come on for small periods in games but he has made a contribution
“I’ve got the utmost respect for Iago and his professionalism. He keeps working, he has a great character and mentality. We will see where we’re at with him come the summer.”