Alberto Aquilani was seen as one of the most exciting transfers to be made in last summer’s transfer window but the midfielder’s constant injury problems are beginning to make the £20m that was spent on him, appear the biggest waste of money ever.
The Italian has gone from one injury to the next and when he hasn’t been injured he’s had virus’s which have turned the midfielder into one huge walking sick note. Rafa Benitez today revealed not too surprisingly, that Aquilani would miss the reds crucial trip to Portugal to tackle Benfica in the Europa League quarter final after sustaining an injury to the very same ankle that has troubled the midfielder since his arrival on Merseyside.
Liverpool fans had to wait until the 4th round of the League cup against Arsenal to get their first glimpses of the midfielder when he appeared in the 77th minute of the match coming on for Damien Plessis. His first premier league appearance was during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Birmingham City at Anfield in early November.
The latest bit of injury news on Aquilani will only add further fuel to reds fans frustrations, who hoped originally that Aquilani would replace last summer’s departing hero Xabi Alonso who moved on to Real Madrid. It was hoped when he signed, that Aquilani would be fit to play a consistent number of games by the end of October or early November but Benitez has instead opted on many occasions to protect his prized asset in the more physical looking games such as Blackburn and Stoke.
Maybe Rafa should be more concerned about protecting Aquilani on the training ground at Melwood where a large number of his setbacks have occurred including the latest one ruling him out of the Benfica clash:
“He will not be available for this game. He had a problem with his ankle this morning and we have to fix it. It doesn’t seem too serious but it’s the same ankle as before and so we’ll have to analyse the situation carefully.”
Aquilani’s troubled season further raises the question as to what Benitez was thinking last summer when he splashed out so much money on a player that despite his obvious talent, is constantly injured, therefore making the club’s options in midfield this year severely limited. Even if Aquilani had been constantly in the squad since the end of October, by this point the team were more or less out of both the champions league and the premier league title race.
The only thing we can hope now is that the Italian midfielder plays his role in helping us finish in that coveted fourth-place and judging by events this campaign we are going to need all the help we can get.