Is there any future at Anfield for midfielder Alberto Aquilani? It would appear not. The 28 year old Italian made his high profile move to the English Premier League side early in August 2009. It was a transfer around the sum of £20 million from Italian side Roma, and with his natural tendencies as an attacking midfielder, Aquilani was supposed to inject new life into what was deemed a stagnant Liverpool midfield. However, since joining the Reds back in 2009, Aquilani has managed to play his way into just 18 Premier League appearances and the rumours from Anfield is that a deal with Serie A side Fiorentina, his top suitor, having been agreed.
So what went wrong for Aquilani and his big move to the Premier League? He was originally drafted into Anfield in order to replace the deeper lying midfielder Xabi Alonso, by then-manager Rafa Benitez. But Liverpool took a gamble because Aquilani was not fit because of ankle problem when he signed for the Reds, and he never looked settled when he did get his chance, as he was then used out of position. Aquilani’s entire first season with Liverpool was disputed by poor form and lack of fitness. Even when Benitez departed and Roy Hodgson took over in the Anfield hot-seat, Aquilani still didn’t get a shot, making two appearances before being loaned out to Juventus.
Loans have been part and parcel of Aquilani’s nomadic career. In his seven years with Roma, he spent a season on loan with Triestina; then with Liverpool, after he had completed his loan to Juventus, he spent the following season out on loan again, this time with AC Milan. After returning to Liverpool, the midfielder seemed determined to prove his worth to new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. It was the Italian’s intention to play his way into holding down a regular spot at Anfield. But with his recent omission from a pre-season friendly squad against Tottenham in Baltimore, Aquilani and Liverpool are set to part company.
Not being picked for the game against Spurs was quite a telling factor, because Liverpool have been playing their pre-season Tour with a lot of reserve and fringe players. Aquilani being left out against Spurs, appeared to confirm rumours that Aquilani was indeed surplus to requirements, with the Reds wanting to keep him free of injury to ensure a deal would go through with Fiorentina. It is supposed that Liverpool will get around £3 million out of the deal with the Serie A club, with the possibility of further bonuses.
It hasn’t been a happy relationship between Aquilani and Liverpool, the player stating that he never wanted to go out on loan at any time, he wanted to commit to the Reds. But Liverpool never gave him the shot that he really wanted. He was overlooked for other players who came in and underperformed, and with a new regime now under Brendan Rodgers, and no football played at the club in the past two years to prove his value, Aquilani has come up short on Merseyside. With Liverpool aggressively trying to sign Swansea midfielder Joe Allen, the Reds didn’t even want to talk loans any more.
But maybe that is what the player is looking for, and a fresh start could be on the horizon. Stability is what the player must be looking for in order to end his nomadic football career. He needs a permanent home where he will play. Where faith will be shown in him to revive his career. With the past two seasons having been spent in Italian top flight, he should be back in familiar territory next season.