Iago Aspas' move to Liverpool has been confirmed as Brendan Rodgers looks to strengthen his side and push for a Champions League place next season. But what kind of player is he? Our La Liga expert David Cartlidge reveals all. Liverpool fans are used to having a player in Luis Suarez that so ferociously divides opinion. They’ve taken to the Uruguayan as one of their own, irrelevant of the opinions Suarez’s detractors hold. It will make fascinating viewing then, when another contentious character in Iago Aspas turns out for them. Aspas too, is of that 'love to have him on your team, hate to play against him' mould. He also happens to be a very, very good footballer. The 25-year-old plays each game like it’s his last, getting in the faces of opponents and going to the ends of the earth for his team. He’s energy, enthusiasm, and endeavour. But he’s also skill and sublime. He was born in Moana, a town of just 20,000 in Galician. At school he was a terror too, constantly distracted in lessons with only focus on football. Asked what his favourite moment as a Celta fan was he didn’t mention a goal, or assist, he recalled when Wagner infamously booted Diego Tristan in the air during a Galician derby. It was in 2010/2011 that he first rose to prominence, scoring 23 goals in 35 games as Celta pushed towards a return to Spain’s top flight. He played as a lone striker in the Segunda that season, working in tandem with the various support acts he was handed. His coach at the time was a certain ex-Liverpool man in Paco Herrera, part of that glorious Champions League victory steered by Rafa Benitez. Herrera had to handle Aspas with care, for he was always on the brink of breaking. That season he played for every single fan that entered the stadium; would chase lost causes, formed the first part of defence from his attacking role, put in tackles and of course, scored goals. He’s a passionate character too, constantly muttering to himself when moving around the field and when against an opponent engaging in some exchanged words. It motivated him, psyched himself up. It rarely did not produce an end product. Aspas' transition from Segunda to Primera was seemingly effortless for the player. He managed three goals in his opening seven games, and as it stands has 11 in 32 matches. There's a common misconception that Aspas is just a tenacious striker, but there's much more to him than that. He’s a creator too, marking down six assists and generally being the centre of everything good his team produces. Aspas can drop off into midfield and start attacks, move into the channels and take players on with pace – particularly on the right hand side, where he likes to drift in from with a drop of the shoulder. He can also play on the shoulder like a number 9, offering a team verticality in their play.
Liverpool's New Signing: Iago Aspas Scouting Report
Daily Mirror | Jun 24