Maxi in the squad to face Stoke

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Liverpool unveiled Maxi Rodriguez at the club’s Melwood training ground on Friday afternoon, and manager Rafa Benitez has included the Argentine winger in the squad to face Stoke on Saturday.

Rodriguez, a free transfer from Atletico Madrid, told Liverpoolfc.tv: “I am very happy. This is a big, new phase for me at a huge club.”

Manager Rafa Benitez said;

“Maxi is a player who understands the game. He has quality. He’s not a proper winger who’ll pass players and dribble all the time but he can pass the ball and get in good positions.

“He’s really good at finishing and gets in the box at the right moment.

“He can give to us more competition on the right side but he can play in three positions – right winger, second striker or left winger.”

Rodriguez has been given the number 17 shirt at Liverpool, and is looking forward to the challenge ahead, telling the press:

“When the chance came up to play for Liverpool, I was ready for the change and I have taken it. I am glad to be at a club with such high aspirations as Liverpool.

“Liverpool are well known as a club that is always there or thereabouts in the league, cup competitions and the Champions League.

“I also have ambitions to reach the highest levels, so I am pleased to be here and to try and help Liverpool achieve some success.

“It is a good move in my career and I am very happy to be stepping up to a club like Liverpool.

“The most important thing for me now is to get playing and I am very keen to start.

“For any player it is a great honour to pull on the Liverpool shirt and I’d like to do that as soon as possible.

“I am looking forward to a successful time here. I want to help the institution that is Liverpool and contribute the best I can.”

Also available is Spanish winger Albert Riera, who has struggled with niggling injuries this season, and goalkeeper Pepe Reina will return after missing the Reading match with a slight back strain.

Liverpool are without Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun, Glen Johnson, Nabil El Zhar and Martin Kelly.

Stoke ended a six-game winless run with a 3-2 defeat of Fulham last time out and look on course to better last season’s 12th-placed finish.

Meanwhile, the Potters confirmed on Friday they have ended their interest in signing Portsmouth and England keeper David James.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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