Oussama Assaidi
Assaidi is relishing his opportunity to play in the Middle East.Getty Images

Former Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi says the opportunity to play for United Arab Emirates side Al-Ahli was too good an opportunity to turn down following the completion of his January move to the Middle East.

Assaidi had spent the last 18 months on loan at Stoke City but having become a peripheral member of the first team squad at the Britannia Stadium, The Reds opted to cash in on the Morocco wideman.

The 26-year-old made just 12 appearances for Liverpool since joining the club in 2012 and says he decided to leave the Premier League side for the UAE giants for a fresh challenge.

"This is one of the biggest clubs in the United Arab Emirates and it is an honour to play for this club and in this great city," he said.

"At Liverpool, I didn't get a lot of chances in the end. It was a wrong choice to go to that club. When I played, I didn't actually play that bad, but the clubs in England keep buying new players, and that's where it has gone wrong, I think.

"My period at Stoke was wonderful, and I hope I can continue in the same vein at Al-Ahli."

Assaidi is one of two permanent departures from Liverpool during the January transfer window, with Spanish midfielder Suso having moved to AC Milan after failing to break into the first team.

Four academy players have left the club on loan, including Kevin Stewart, Jack Dunn, Lloyd Jones and Connor Randall, but manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled out any players coming in during the mid-season window.

Rodgers had hoped to recall Divock Origi from his season-long loan at Lille, but the boss clarified: "The likelihood is he will stay at Lille. There was a chat between clubs but nothing more than that. He will likely stay at Lille."