With Liverpool looking a lot closer to signing a new left back, it does make me wonder what exactly our intentions are towards one of our forgotten players, Fabio Aurelio. When it was revealed that we had re-signed the Brazilian a year ago there was no doubt that I was over the moon. Fast forward a year and Fabio Aurelio had exactly the type of season many feared he would when Roy Hodgson decided to take him back.
Injuries have reduced Aurelio to being a bit part player at most, and judging by his non-existence during this pre-season, the problems don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. It is a shame because Aurelio has in the past (especially the 2008-2009 season) shown that he is one of the most technically gifted players in the squad.
When he was first signed, I recall Rafa Benitez boldly stating that Fabio Aurelio was more effective at set pieces and passing that Xabi Alonso. Aurelio never did quite hit the heights of the talented Spaniard but he did on some occasions demonstrate why Benitez’s expectations of him were so high. When you also consider that on the two occasions he was called up to the Brazil national team, he had to pull out of the squad due to injury, it really does illustrate just how unlucky he’s been in his career.
We’ve been linked with defenders such as Jose Enrique, Aly Cissokho and even Stephen Warnock, and currently have Emiliano Insua and Jack Robinson occupying the left back slots. I feel that the imminent acquisition of a new first XI quality left back may spell the end for Fabio Aurelio, who has only managed a total of 44 appearances for Liverpool in the last two seasons.
Another possible outcome I really wouldn’t like to see would be if Aurelio decided to give in to his injuries and call time on his career. Of course it isn’t nice to think about but there is a realistic chance of him being forced to go down that route after a career where he unfortunately hasn’t been able to show his true potential.
I truly believe that an injury free Aurelio would prove to be one of the most formidable left backs in the league, and I would love nothing more than to see him stay fit for the majority of the season and play as well as he did in 2009 when we only just missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester United. The only problem is, I hold these same hopes for Aurelio at the start of every season, and with his aging body still struggling to fight off the niggling injuries, it may just be a matter of time before his Liverpool career is brought to a premature end.
Whatever happens, I’ll always see Fabio Aurelio as a player with huge potential whose body unfortunately never allowed him to show his true ability. At the very least I would love to see Aurelio kept as a backup option for the left side of defence but Kenny Dalglish is the boss and we will have to wait and see over the coming weeks whether the Brazilian fits into his plans or not.
Article is courtesy of Mark Wilson at Live4Liverpool