Liverpool: The Curious Case of Alberto Aquilani

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The story about Alberto Aquilani is a strange one. Some would even say a sad one. He was born and grew up in Rome, and started his youth career at Roma. After a loan spell at Triestina, he got into the Roma squad and soon became a key player in the team. He was known for his passing and was the motor of the team.

When Xabi Alonso left Liverpool, Rafa Benitez wasted no time in finding a replacement. Alberto Aquilani joined Liverpool on 5th August 2009 for a fee of around £17 million, most of that in add-ons. He came to Liverpool carrying an injury, and was out until November. He was impressive whenever he played, but his injury problems prevented him from playing enough games.

In the summer of 2010 Rafa Benitez left the club and was replaced by Roy Hodgson. That was a time of big turmoil at Liverpool, and Aquilani was sent on loan to Juventus to lower the wage bill. He played 33 games for Juventus that season. He returned to Liverpool the next summer but was sent on loan again, this time to AC Milan.

During his time at Milan, Aquilani impressed for the most part. His playing time was restricted due to injuries and Milan´s refusal to activate the buy-out clause, which would be activated after he played 25 games.

Now Alberto has once again returned to Liverpool. His future is still very much unclear. While a lot of fans see his qualities and want him to stay, his high wages and injury proness are big problems. Aquilani himself is said to be willing to stay in Liverpool if the club want to keep him.

Aquilani offers qualities that Liverpool need in the “tiki-taka” system Rodgers´ teams usually play. His passing is brilliant; he is a very clever player and has good shooting abilities. He can play deep alongside Lucas or behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1. His passing would allow Liverpool to win space very fast and he could feed the striker and wingers with dangerous trough ball.

But while he has a lot of qualities that Liverpool could use, there are also big issues regarding his attitude. He seems to find it hard settling in to Liverpool, although his agent stated he is ready to stay at the club. That combined with the above mentioned high wages and injury problems are very good reasons for the club to sell him. 

Where will Aquilani play next season? What will be the next chapter of the Odyssey he has been going through the last few years? Only time will tell.

Written by Ivan Stanic
Follow me on Twitter @stanic007

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