As we arrive at the return of Aly Cissokho after his six-week lay-off with an ankle injury sustained in his Anfield debut against Notts County, it is a good time for us to look at the potential quality he can bring to this Liverpool side.
Signed in the summer on a season-long loan from Valencia, Liverpool, who have been given the option to buy him at the end of the season, are hoping that Cissokho will be able to challenge José Enrique and add some competition to the left hand side of defence.
The French international, though still quite young at the age of 26, has plenty of experience; He has been integral parts of Porto, Lyon and Valencia teams, and has helped them all progress into the knockout rounds of the Champions League with strong performances.
One thing can always be guaranteed with Cissokho: he is hard working, comitted and will always do his best for the team. He was distraught when he came off injured, but this might make him improve and he might be able to integrate better into the Liverpool team. He has now had lots of time to watch Liverpool play now knows their style of football better.
He is quite renowned for his attacking play, and will always give himself as an option on the left hand flank to produce a quality cross. Last season, at Valencia, he created 16 chances. His main strength is his calm composure and his ability to control the ball. This has enabled him to be very useful in defence; This was shown last year, as he made no defensive errors. Like Valencia, Liverpool play a passing game, which again suits Cissokho’s style of play.
There have always been some doubts in Cissokho, most recently about his injuries and fitness, but I hope he can get past that and prove that he has what it takes to be an important asset to Liverpool and I personally believe he has the ability to become a well-known player in the Barclays Premier League. Cissokho’s defensive play has also been an issue as he did not look very comfortable when faced one on one down the wing. He is not known for his heading skills and teams may look to take advantage of this. However, this may not be a problem for Liverpool, as they have been using their full-backs in more attacking roles this season and leaving three men at the back.
Cissokho starts for Liverpool in their 12:45 kick off against Newcastle today. Lets see how he fares.
T.Benton (Spanish Correspondent)