Can Aquilani Make An Impact at Anfield?

By on July 17, 2011

Brought to Merseyside in the summer of 2009 for £20m, it appears Alberto Aquilani will again have the chance to prove his worth to Liverpool, no matter his personal preferences over an increasingly unlikely return to Juventus.

Aquilani came through the ranks at his hometown club, AS Roma, making his Serie A debut in 2003 under Fabio Capello while still just 18. After a successful year long loan at Serie B Triestina, the creative midfielder notched 133 appearances for the Giallorossi, earning plaudits around the country as well as picking up the Italian Cup (twice) and the Italian SuperCup, also contributing mesmerizing displays in the Champions League. He picked up his first senior cap for Italy in 2006, after featuring 20 times for the U21 side, and has since appeared 15 more times for the Azzurri.

Looking purely at the stats, his lone season at Liverpool isn’t that bad; in just 18 Premier League appearances, 9 of which were off the bench, he managed 6 assists and a goal. However, as his been an unfortunate trend in his career, injuries blighted his season and took a toll on his fitness, limiting his production and ability to play; so much so that incoming manager Roy Hodgson sent him out on loan to Juventus for the whole of the 2010/11 season, with the Turin club having the option to buy him permanently for 14m. Labelled a “Kop flop” by the English media, it seemed that this would be the end of his time at Anfield, with the player himself declaring numerous times he wished to stay in his native country with Juve.

However, the Biaconeri were not willing to meet the pre-agreed evaluation, and current manager Kenny Dalglish now sees Aquilani as having a role in his first-team plans. And it is difficult to see why he would not. With Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, and Dirk Kuyt all threats up front, Aquilani can have a field day every weekend setting up his trademark intricate and precise passes and garnering assists. The prospect of accompanying Steven Gerrard in the midfield will also be reason for Aquilani to look forward to the season beginning.

Liverpool have a renewed depth in the midfield – Charlie Adam has joined from Blackpool as has Jordan Henderson from Sunderland, to accompany Maxi Rodriguez, Lucas, Jay Spearing, and even Joe Cole. Raul Meireles is widely believed to be on his way out of the club, seen as surplus to requirements. Stewart Downing’s arrival from Aston Villa will likely see Dalglish employ a 4-4-2 or maybe even a 4-2-3-1 to fit all of his talent into one lineup. With Aquilani’s ability to either play deep in the “Xabi Alonso” playmaker role, or higher up the pitch, he should see a sizeable amount of action this term for the Reds, and will be given a proper shot to justify his price tag and prove his worth in the English top flight.

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25 Comments

  1. M. Berlouis

    July 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Aqui is a great player and shd be given a chance to prove his worth. With Gerard, Downing, Adam, Lucas, Henderson, Spearing thats 7 players for 4 spots in a 4-4-2 so we will have depth and cover for all eventualities. We should let Mereiles go. he is not consistent and older.

  2. Towson Tom

    July 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Have been saying similar all last season and keeping my fingers crossed that the buy option was’nt taken up. Aquilani is absolute quality as long as he stays fit, and that is where Meireles comes in, Between them we have fantastic options in midfield and neither should be let go, Yes, once again I will point out that to compete at the highest level we need strength in depth with diferent players bringing diferent qualities

  3. A.Ochiltree

    July 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Aquilani is one of the most complete central midfielders in the world. It would be a tragedy for him to never redeem himself in the eyes of the overly critical and unfair English media. Good luck to him.

  4. guigsy berlin

    July 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I agree with Ochiltree, yesterday Aquilani made Spearing, Shelvey and Adam look pedestrian and frankly not good enough. The headlines this morning are all about Adam (because he is British ) and the british experts/pundits have been talking up shipping out Aquilani for 2 years. If I wasn’t a Liverpool supporter their comments would make me laugh. Don’t we remember how even Liverpool pundits talked up Barry over Alonso, and now Adam over Aquilani and Meireles. Clueless

  5. Enayat

    July 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

    yeah give him the chance that he deserves and to cole also
    sell poulsen ngog jova brad degen and then buy the remaining players……..i hope that we get a marquee signing…..one of the 8 would be very much welcomed……..SANCHEZ HAZARD NEYMAR AGUERO ITURBE PASTORE MODRIC GANSO …..IUF WE GET NEYMAR THAT WOULD BE THE BEST DEAL……….A LB like baines and a CD like SUBOTIC

  6. RoboKop

    July 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

    All I can say is that Aquilani is quality and has showed that numerous times. He’s our best creative midfielder next to Gerrard. How can he be labelled a ‘Kop Flop’ if he’s likely to be assisting Suarez, Carroll and Kuyt all season if kept? Liverpool will never complain of creating chances if he’s in the field, the stats show it. It’s not a matter of giving him a chance, renew his contract long-term and more lucrative. It’s clear as day. YNWA!

  7. nishad

    July 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    The british media seems to be the dumbest in the world. Aquilani and suarez can team up much better than adam and suarez or adam and caroll…I watched each and every game he played for liverpool in his debut season. Any one who watched his performances won’t say that he was a flop exception being the british media and pundits.

  8. Lookhere

    July 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This is the one player that Liverpool fans around the world agree is a class act and deserves a chance. Would like to see him link up with Kuyt and Saurez.
    Even Henry is impressed by Aqua:

    http://www.ourkop.com/2011/07/17/video-why-henry-wants-to-keep-aquilani/

  9. judge steve p

    July 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Aquilani is class and has proved his worth in the season where he was mainly injured with 6 assists and 1 goal. He is an exceptional passer of the ball with great vision and movement. A Liverpool class player with a pass and move attitude.

    I can see Raul going, he looked like a player resigned to going yesterday. I would like to see Joe Cole given another opportunity,he looks lean, mean and hungry again.

    Poulson needs to go and I think shelvey and coady could do with season long loans to a championship or lower perm club where they will play and develop.

    4 2 3 1 formation with a midfield like this perhaps:

    Reina

    Johnson Carra Agger Flanagan

    Lucas or Adam with Gerrard

    Downing Aquilani Saurez

    Carroll

    Bench:

    Doni, Kelly, Lucas or Adam, Cole, Henderson, Kuyt, Skrtl

    • Wesley

      July 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      @ Judge steve P, You are an exceptional analyst, thumbs up man and YNWA.

  10. TomW1991

    July 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Those within the media than label Aquilani a ‘flop’ know nothing about football. he is the perfect accompaniment to Suarez and Downing for next season. His first half season was better than ok, he had more assists thn Modric had from the same position and did it in half the time!

  11. lgREDS

    July 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    AQUA is the MAN i’m telling you fella REDS !! VISION, CREATION, DISTRUBUTION, he’s got all !! we just gotta give him proper chance to let him play he like sorry loves to play !!! GO REDS !!!

  12. Dan

    July 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Aqua us pure class I can imagine him
    An Suarez causing all sorts of problems. One problem is Aqua doesn’t put himself out defensively but that’s bit how he plays so we need to make sure we have a defensive midfielder next to him to plug the hole

  13. mike c

    July 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    If we sell Albie it will be the first big mistake of Kenny’s reign. Showed against Malaysia the vision and control oozing out of him. He must be kept.

    • downing fan

      July 18, 2011 at 2:41 am

      i was there in the stadium, and aqua is the one that stood out and ngog too…
      cant wait for Malaysia team to beat chelski…

  14. Sean

    July 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    liverpool should sell coz he’s true failure and he isn’t comparing to alonso

    some of you kop fans are deluded by saying aquilani is best but he’s not.

    • RoboKop

      July 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      @Sean: Justify your reason to why he’s a failure rather than running your mouth. Start with “He’s a true failure because…! . BTW Alonso and him are two different types of players. Alonso is a DEEP-lying playmaker whereas Aquillani is an advanced playmaker JFYI.

  15. frank

    July 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    He played extremely well in Malaysia. The fans were flabergasted seeing him pass the ball to another LFC player. It was such a thrill seeing him play. KEEP HIM and shift out Joe Cole – he dribbles too much and eventually looses the bal.

  16. always liverpool

    July 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    waw! i am realy impress how he perform in malyasia despite all thoes noises on him since he arrives anfield

  17. always liverpool

    July 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    waw! i am realy impress how he perform in malyasia despite all thoes noises on him since he arrives anfield ps keeeeeeeeeeep aqilani….and …

  18. Livepolfan

    July 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Alberto Aqualani is a WORLD CLASS…he ‘ve shown all last year a Juve…if King Kenny sell him KK might fail in his strategy coming season. Sell Meirles, Pulson, Ngog, Joe Cole, Rodrigez, Kuyt.

    HE HAS DONE IT A MALAYSIA!

  19. wubshet(always liverpool )

    July 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    the type of player liverpoll realy mises for a cople of yrs is alberto..he knows how to pass.double one two and lovely shoots… anybody follw him last yr in juve says “we miss him” for sure…keny forget british midias keephim…..
    YNWA.

  20. AMcCarten

    July 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Great banter so far- question; how much do you think he would be worth if he was British?

  21. judge steve p

    July 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Sean you are not seriously comparing Aqua to Alonso? Why has Aqua been a true failure?

    He was given half a season by Rafa to show what he could do and played only half fit after a serious injury. Woy didn’t give him a chance and decided instead to bring a load of hasbeens in to replace him. Had we had Aqua in the team last season, I have a funny feeling that we would have made Europe possibly even the champions league.

    If you watch his pre season performances you would realise that he is an attacking midfielder in the true sense, not a deep lying playmaker like Alonso. That’s why Adam has been bought.

    If you think Aqua is a failure, let’s see what he can do in a red shirt this season and then debate it properly again in May. Until then get back to watching your mates from old trafford with all the other dorks that nothing about football players and enjoy your prawns sandwiches. Leave your football matters to Taggart.

    • @judge steve p

      July 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      Judge Steve P, you, sir, are indeed an exceptional analyst

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