Midfielder’s departure may well have a positive effect at Anfield.
Xabi Alonso’s exit from Liverpool may have been on the cards for a while, however it may not be the disaster Liverpool fans are making it out to be. There is not doubt Liverpool are losing a great player, his vision and passing are second to none, however his play in the last third of the pitch was never world class. I don’t think anyone can disagree that Liverpool’s best performances came in the latter stage of the season when they played a more attacking brand of football. Although this was somewhat forced by Manchester United’s dominance, it is sure to give Mr Benitez a valuable lesson for the future. A lesson he looks to have learnt having purchased a far more attacking midfielder to replace Alonso in Roma’s Alberto Aquilani. A fee has been agreed and the only stumbling is what promises to be a very stringent medical for the injury prone Italian international.
Alonso and Aquilani are two very different players; Alonso prefers to sit deep, picking out passes and bringing the overall play of the game together. Aquilani is far more attack minded and is more of a box to box player. This brings me to my point although Xabi Alonso is a far more accomplished player; Aquilani will offer a more attacking option that could prove the difference in games against the lesser teams that opt to put ten men behind the ball. The downfall of Liverpool last season wasn’t the games against the big four it was against lower table opposition, such as Stoke, Hull and Wigan. They struggled to break these teams down and lost out on that elusive Premiership title due to there inability to create space and therefore chances. Aquilani could be the one to make that difference, his attacking superiority to Alonso could be what turns Rafa’s reds into champions.
Aquilani is certainly a gamble due to his suspect injury record, however any one who watches Serie A on a regular basis will tell you he has huge potential and a great eye for goal.