It’s a shame but it looks as if Fabio Aurelio’s time at Liverpool is coming to an end. Rumours of a move to Olympiakos in recent days and the fact that time is running out fast on his contract, seem to suggest that the Brazilian full back will be out of the door in the summer. He will be most fondly remembered for his fantastic free kick against Manchester United last season, but his injury record has meant he has made far less appearances for the club than he should have done. This season he has managed only 13 starts and 10 sub appearances as his season has been plagued by injuries. He started off the season on the sidelines after injuring his knee bizarrely when playing football on the beach with his family back in Brazil. His most recent injury came back in February against Blackburn Rovers, damaging his thigh, but although he is expected to return to action next week, his time in England maybe coming to a close. Since joining Liverpool in 2006, Aurelio has been troubled with constant niggles and injury problems, and his best season was last campaign when he managed 27 appearances, but this season has been far more troublesome.
So if Aurelio does leave the club in the summer, who should be his replacement? One of the most heavily rumoured players is Lazio full back Aleksandar Kolarov. Very similar in style to Aurelio, Kolarov has been dubbed the “Serbian Roberto Carlos” due to his expert free kick abilities and long range strike expertise. Bought for €800,000 from OFK Beograd in 2007, Kolarov has established himself as first choice left back in the last two campaigns. Due to his similar characteristics and same nationality, Kolarov has been compared to former Lazio star Sinisa Mihajlovic and he exchanged his number 3 jersey for the number 11 one of Mihajlovic at the start of this season.
After arriving from Beograd, Kolarov quickly became known for his rocket of a left foot, firing an unstoppable shot against Reggina in 2007, a goal which was his first for the club. It would be talent that Kolarov would repeat many times in the coming years, most notably against Lecce last season and an amazing goal in the Rome derby against Roma in a 4-2 win (shown below). He ran almost the length of the pitch, after receiving the ball from his goalkeeper, and slotted past Roma keeper Doni with his right foot. It is the sort of goal that typifies Kolarov’s style of play. As adept at playing left wing as he is left back, he loves to make forward runs from the left hand side, his pace getting him past opposition defenders before delivering pin point accurate crosses or attempting a go on goal himself with his rifle of a left foot.
It is safe to say that Kolarov is extremely strong as an attacking full back, and the Serbian international has been linked with various clubs, including Liverpool, over the past months as Lazio continue their struggles in Serie A. Kolarov said about the interest being shown in him:
“I open the newspapers on a daily basis and find that different clubs are interested in me, The interest from Real Madrid, Liverpool and Inter cannot but flatter me. However, up until now there has never been anything concrete.”
No doubt, Kolarov would be an exciting player to watch, and with Glen Johnson on the opposite flank it would be an extremely attack minded team if Rafa Benitez was to attempt to buy the 24 year old with the transfer funds at his disposal.