How many Italians have plied their trade at Anfield? As far as I know, there have been only three: all signed by Rafa Benitez. There was the young keeper Daniele Padelli, who spent half a season on loan at Liverpool but only played a solitary game before being sent back to Italy. Then there was Andrea Dossena, the left back who came with a fairly decent reputation and some Italy caps, but left having barely got a look in. And then there is Aquilani.

I’m sure that by now, Liverpool fans are tired of seeing his name in the papers, as a story of Aquilani’s doomed transfer has turned into a two year saga, the conclusion of which nobody really knows still. Yet strangely enough, considering the undisguised contempt a lot of fans have shown for the likes of Konchesky and Poulsen, you’ll rarely find anyone making disparaging remarks about the Italian. Perhaps it’s because he has never publicly said the wrong things. Perhaps it’s because most fans still view him as a player of high quality who could make the grade at Anfield. But the view that most people hold is that there is something going on behind the scenes which they don’t fully understand, which has caused the transfer to fail so spectacularly upto this point.
What is the reason a succession of Liverpool managers (and a couple of Juventus ones as well) have shown so little faith in the creative midfielder?

As I see it, there are 6 primary reasons for a club and player to part ways, though I am not sure which of these apply to Aquilani:

1) New manager doesn’t see his value: Rafa Benitez obviously thought so highly of him, he was willing to sign him knowing full well that the player would be out through injury for the majority of the season. Then again, Roy Hodgson barely got a glimpse of his abilities in pre-season before surprisingly sending him out on loan. Kenny Dalglish has publicly stated he wouldn’t mind having him back at Liverpool. He also had a productive season at Juventus, injury-free, so its hard to see why they didn’t take up their option to sign him when they did so for 4 other on-loan players.

2) Lack of fan support: Liverpool fans, in typical fashion, got behind their man before he had even kicked a ball, labelling him the replacement for departed icon Xabi Alonso, and unfurling an ‘Il Principino’ banner at Anfield. Most would still support him to this day.

3) Injury problems: Something he has struggled with throughout his career – but having a full season and a pre-season under his belt should surely have convinced either Juventus or Liverpool to give him a shot.

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20 responses to “6 Reasons why Liverpool and Aquilani are not the perfect fit”

  1. Filip says:

    He doesn’t want to play for us! This 1 reason is enough to sell him…

  2. Wong says:

    Yeah I think selling him would be the easiest option. No point keeping an unhappy player in the squad. It will only affect the morale of the team. And if he really played so well last season I don’t see why there are no clubs wanting him. The agent is not working hard enough.

  3. Sreejith says:

    Aquilani is a quality player.He knows that and most of us knows that. When somebody like him being send on loan ( That too when Liverpool badly needed creativity in the midfield) would surely make him disappointed. If he is not willing to play for us, the only reason is the disappointment, that ‘I am not appreciated here’.

  4. Chunky says:

    He NEVER said he didn’t want to play for us – It was only his agent shouting his mouth off to line his pockets again!
    He is now fully fit and a very talented bonus in mid-field.
    When he did play he showed his football-thinking ability and with a new squad will shine.He should be back in the squad for pre-seasoning…

  5. patrick says:

    He’s great in Italy, but average in England..He’s causing Liverpool all sorts of problems, and I’m starting to dislike him.I think playing in England with the fast pace and tough tackling, he wouldn’t last long injury wise either.

  6. colls says:

    i think we shud keep him he is anothr steven gerrard his vison is unreal quality player

  7. J J says:

    Cannot understand why Benitez bought a wounded soldier when he needs all the men he could muscle & also mind boggling when Hodgson loaned him out when he is short on quality players. Now that he has no where to go, I think the guy deserves a shot at the squad.

    He has no choice but to stay. If he is still doesn’t want to be at Liverpool, sell him fast. He is beginning to be a pain in the neck sounding like cry baby. Being injury prone, I don’t think he will last the rigours of the EPL!

  8. Bryan says:

    The injury prone thing is pretty much crud. He was injured on arrival, got better and played quite well before Hodgson dumped him. I am inclined to think all the chat is from his agent and I have heard sod all comments from him either way. Probably wise as he does not know what will happen in his future. If he comes back I will welcome him gladly and hope he can quickly win the doubters over

  9. JJ says:

    We have got the player FIT something the back room staff at Anfield should be proud of!Just another Roy Hodgson mistake that made the club look bad we did n’t need to buy Meireles and could of brought a forward or a winger.

  10. Towson Tom says:

    I dont know what game Patrick was at, every time I saw him play he impressed me as being a quality player always looking to get forward and with great vision and passing ability. As regards it being his agent doing all the talking it has to be said that Alberto was on video a couple of months ago saying why he wanted to leave, and most of what he said seemed to stem from the previous owners, He was very dissapointed in the club as were all of us at that time. I think he would probably be a much happier player under the current ownership and management, and I think he would fit in well with Suarez, Kuyt and co.

  11. Mick says:

    The reason we will want to get rid of Alberto and the reason why many clubs will be wary of investing a significant amount of money in him is simply because he’s a crock. A very talented one but a crock nonetheless. One abnormal season does not take away the four seasons prior where he collectively managed to appear in only 36% Serie A or Premier League games. In fact, from our point of view, it should only make us keener to get rid. It’s the opportune moment. If we kept him and he had one of his normal seasons fitness-wise, no-one would touch him with a barge pole, and we’d have a player earning the money of an important first team player without being remotely reliable.

    I like Alberto very much as a footballer but it’s common sense to cut our losses on him and move on. A player like Charlie Adam may not be as talented but, owing to the fact he’d be available for many more games, he would be likely to contribute more to the cause over this season and the next few. He’d also be on lower wages which can be redistributed to bolster other parts of the team.

  12. Mikey76 says:

    I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the main points.

    I think citing nationality as a reason for him not wanting to play is weak. As is the ‘fact’ that you state Rafa knew he would be injured most of the season. He did not know that. Liverpool sought independent medical advice, who reckoned on October 2009 as a return date. I would have thought you could have found this information online.

    Every time I saw him play he was quality. He scored a few and set up a few too. He is a quality player, so I think your weak comparison with Konchesky and Poulsen is weak, pathetic, poorly judged and misguided.

    In my view, Aquilani is a quality player who was loaned out by our ex-manager and ex-MD for reasons we will never probably really know. On the footballing side, you can see why Hodgson didn’t want him – he didn’t fit into his long ball system.

  13. Soren says:

    Whats the point of the article?

    I dont think that anybody can put a finger on his abilities. To be honest, the biggest mistake was, that Roy H. preferred to loan him out instead of using him.

    I would love to see him play a full season for Liverpool. After that we know if he is god or bad for Liverpool.

  14. Soren says:

    In regards to the point of the article, I fail to see the 6 reasons, as I see as weak.

    Reason number 1, new managers fail so see his qualities. Well Roy H. Did, and Conte in Juventus prefers a transferfree Pirlo, and will instead use the transfer money on a striker.

    Lack of fan support. Ass far as I know from forums and LFC supporters I speak to, respect the playerl, even though not all agrees, that LFC should keep him.

    Injuries. Sure the last season in Roma and his first in LFC was injury plagued, but actually, he has not had that many injuries before.

    Price/contract issues, not really a reason why LFC and Aqua doesent fit together, that is/was a Juventus issue.

    Homesickness, Aqua has not said that he misses Italy, even though he has said that he would prefer to stay in Italy, because LFC doesent seem to want to keep him.

    Agent, thats just speculation.

    So out of the 6 reasons, none of the was from a football angel

  15. Feranmi says:

    Aquilani is very good. I’d love to see him this season to prove himself, go watch Liverpool Vs Portsmouth 4-1. He dominated the match completely, excellent vision, nice passing ability, powerful left and right foot shots what elseeee?

  16. myleftball says:

    What was Roy thinking letting aqua go out on loan, I just dont understand it. Didn’t benefit Liverpool what so ever and if the idea was to sell him on after the loan expires, then that clearly didnt work. What we’re left with is a player who is a year older and doesnt want to play for Liverpool.

  17. Dan says:


    Movement, fluidity and interchangeable football

  18. redmatt says:

    we should get him back. give him a chance. he hasnt played 4 us enough. might turn out t be a crackn player.if not, sell him in jan. i think he will come good given a few games. playin in italy has prob improved his fitness because not very ruff an tumble over there. time for injuries t heal a lot better than playin week in week out over here. keepfaith in kenny he knows better than anyone about player abillities and innabillities. roll on august. YNWA

  19. Ved says:

    Come on, i know its fashionable to disagree with people on online forums, but read the article for God’s sake.
    I never cited nationality as a reason for him not playing – merely commented on the fact that there have only been 3 Italians at Anfield, none of whom clicked. Whether he was available in October or December , the point being made was that Rafa saw enough quality in him to take that risk. I never questioned his quality, but considered the fact that Konchesky/Poulsen tried their best for the club and have been targeted venomously, whereas Aquilani has never been blamed for his relative failure. In fact, you back up the whole point of the article by saying “for reasons we may never know”
    The point was that the reason for his failure is unclear. I saw six possible reasons (wrt to any transfer in general) and tried to apply them to Aquilanis case. As you can see, I come to most of the same conclusions you do.

    Take it easy fellas!

  20. Simon says:

    I’d be very disappointed to see this guy leave. I believe he is Kenny’s type of player. Like Suarez, Adam, Downing, Henderson, Meireles, Kuyt, Reina, Shelvey and Flanagan, and to a lesser degree, Lucas, Gerrard and Kelly, this guy has a certain vision and knows who to pass the ball to and when. He is a thinking player, and this is essential to play Kenny and Rodolfo’s brand of football. The first string of players I’ve listed all know when to pass and where to move, which happen to be Aquilani’s 2 strongest features. He is our best player for the trequartista position, but Hodgson couldn’t see beyond Gerrard for the slot. For a 2-3 band midfield, you’d definitely want him in the most advanced band.