Liverpool’s Forgotten Gem: The Man Who Should Be King

Anfield midfielder’s return could be a blessing in disguise.

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According to the Daily Mail Alberto Aquilani is set to make a long awaited return to the Anfield side that has pretty much forgotten all about him.

This may well be a blessing in disguise. Quite why successive managers had no interest in offering Alberto Aquilani a regular first team berth is mind-boggling. It’s even stranger that the man who opted to invest £20m in the Italian’s services, Rafa Benitez, then steadfastly refused to give the midfielder a run in the starting eleven.

The 27 year old schemer may well be the man to kick start Liverpool’s push for a spot back in the Premier League top four. Given that a number of those brought in by Kenny Dalglish failed to make an impact, most notably Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, the return of Aquilani could well add a spark of creativity that the Merseyside club could dearly benefit from.

Over the past two seasons Aquilani has impressed greatly in loan spells at Juventus and AC Milan, and one has to wonder how a player can be considered surplus to requirements by Liverpool, a side who finished eighth in the Premier League, could be a regular at two sides with genuine title aspirations.

Aquilani’s good form earned him a national team recall and the Liverpool man only just missed out on a spot in Cesare Prandelli’s Euro 2012 squad.

It’s amazing to consider that such a talented player has only been handed nine Premier League starts. Whilst it’s true that a move to sign Aquilani was ill-thought out given that Benitez was buying a player who was at the time sidelined with a long term it just beggars belief that when fully fit he was simply overlooked for large portions of his first season at the club.

Odder still that in the nine games he did start Liverpool experienced title winning form, winning six, drawing twice and suffering just one defeat.

Roy Hodgson then arrived and opted to send the crafty midfielder to Juventus where Alberto Aquilani grew in confidence and shook off his ‘injury-prone’ tag by notching up 33 Serie A appearances. Kenny Dalglish decided that his side could do without the Italian and another loan move was on the cards as the former Roma man was farmed out to AC Milan.

Brendan Rodgers may well be a manager who is ready and willing to open his door to any member of his playing staff, he has certainly made it clear that Joe Cole has a part to play this coming season, and he would be foolish to not consider offering Aquilani a route back into the first team.

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