Alberto Aquilani: Should Liverpool Forget Him As a Bad Dream or Bring Him Back?
Most Liverpool fans would remember the Italian midfielder as one of those players who spent more time on the sidelines than on the field during his spell at Anfield.
He was supposedly brought in to replace the Real Madrid bound Xabi Alonso, the departure of whom is considered by most people as the turning point in Liverpool's fortunes. Aquilani though, owing to his injury record, was not able to contribute much.
Some people also pointed out that his natural preference was to play as an attacking midfielder rather than a holding one. However, in the 18 league appearances he made for the club, many of which were from the bench, he was generally impressive.
Therefore, most people still can't see the reason why he was sent out on loan at the beginning of a season when the team was seen as going through a bad patch.
He was sent out on loan to Juventus, in what was publically stated as "a stint at Juventus so that Aquilani regains match fitness." However, the built-in buyout clause at about £13m or €16m (which is lower than the price Liverpool bought him for), clearly indicated that it was probably a move to sell him off without the money going into the pockets of Hicks and Gillett.
Ever since he moved to Juventus, he has been a revelation for the club. He has formed a great partnership with Melo in the center of midfield at the Turin club. He has been one of the standout performers for Juventus and he even earned the Player of the Month award for the club in November.
Aquilani seems to be more than happy to be back in his home country and has openly stated his desire to make the loan move permanent. And there would be little doubt that the Turin club would like to sign him on a permanent basis.
Recent reports suggest that Juventus would like to negotiate a deal for less than the £13m buyout clause. This might have been triggered by the expression of the desire of the player to remain at Turin.
On the surface, this seems to be a tactical negotiation than anything else. Liverpool should certainly expect Juventus, who sold one of their liabilities Poulson to Liverpool for £4.5m, to pay much more than the £13m, if not the £13m for one of their best players this season.
If however, Juventus don't really want to pay the £13m, then Liverpool do have the option of getting the midfielder back to Anfield.
But the question arises whether Liverpool would prefer to have the midfielder back or rather have the money to further invest in the squad.
Would Liverpool want to take the risk of trying out a player who seems to be more suited to the Serie A than the pace and physical nature of the English Premier League? Another problem of getting him back may be having an unhappy player again just when Liverpool seem to get rid of all the people who don't want to be at the club.
Or would the prospect of having Alberto Aquilani to bolster the midfield entice the new decision-makers at Anfield to take that risk again? Getting the player back might just help the team have a central midfield partnership of Gerrard, Aquilani and Meireles. The prospect certainly seems to be too good to resist.
I would not mind having the player back, as I feel that he was shipped off too soon to make a decent impact. He certainly does have the potential, it's a question about whether Aquilani and Liverpool want another try at fulfilling that.
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