No player currently on the Liverpool squad divides opinion more than the enigmatic Italian Alberto Aquilani. Some see his intricate passing, silky touch and vision as exactly what Liverpool need to break down the more stubborn defences we so often struggle against. Others see an injury prone player on huge wages who’s too lightweight to make it in the Premier League and would rather be sipping macchiato’s in Rome than trotting about Melwood on a cold Winter’s morning.
To the latter group, Aquilani gave his strongest indication yet that he wants to stick around and fight for his place when he gave an interview to the BBC this week.
“How can you pay £20m for a player and this player is never taken into consideration?”
“I never asked to leave but I was always pushed by the club. I am here and I would like to play for Liverpool but it doesn’t depend only on me.”
“It is frustrating to be judged in a certain way when the real story is not known and it is not what people think. As I said already I have never asked to leave but I was always pushed by the club.
“I think Liverpool people have to know that I have never said I wanted to leave the city because my family and I were not happy here. This is not true.
So there you have it. Aquilani wants to play for Liverpool.
It’s undoubtedly been an unhappy few years for the Italian but with the possibility of a full season at Liverpool under his belt he can still prove he has the quality to succeed in the Premier League.
I would be very surprised if he doesn’t remain a Liverpool player under a manager like Rodgers but it wouldn’t have been the first time I’d thought he would stay only to be shipped off.
Against Roma he showed more glimpses of his talent, looking particularly composed on the ball. His pass to Joe Cole was exquisite and is exactly the kind of penetrating ball we lacked last season. I pray we hold onto him this season, I really do.