With Xabi Alonso’s Â£30million move to Real Madrid complete, it looks as if Alberto Aquilani will complete his Â£18million move from Roma to Liverpool in the next 24 hours.
But who is Alberto Aquilani and what makes Rafa Benitez believe he has what it takes to be a greater force in Liverpool’s midfield than Alonso was?
The fans have been discussing the 25-year-old Italian in the forums. You can join in with the debate here and here’s the best bits so far:
DEVGRU: “I am not convinced this will be a sound signing but Rafa and the coaching staff will have more information on his fitness and past injury problems.
I still think we are missing the big picture here: we DESPERATELY need another center forward. More than we do need another central midfielder.”
RedSouthIndian: “From all those videos, he seems more like Gerrard than Xabi, plays further up, keeps going for goal or passes to somebody who’s in a position to shoot. Despite all this, he seems to have scored very few goals for Roma over the last three seasons. Perhaps the most worrying factor is his starts per season record!! A footballer with great potential & mediocre performance!”
ynwaonmychest: Rather than having Masch and Alonso, who have worked very well but play similar deep lying roles, we now have the defensive qualities of masch providing a good contrast to the offensive qualities of aquilani. Lucas fits right in the middle, he can cover either player.
SGreds: “By the way, great signing for me. My only worry is we don’t have a deep enough squad. Any of the 1st 11 get injured, we are truly F#%*ed.”
nuwuck: “Teams have enough trouble trying to contain the Gerrard/Torres partnership, if he settles and can form a good understanding with them teams will be absolutely sh*tting themselves! His long shot looks nice too, another headache for the opposition, not only do you have to make sure you keep tabs on Gerrard or Agger just outside the box but Aquilani now too.”
Rob the Red: “I’ve looked at the footage of Aquilani and read as much as I can about him like everyone else. From what I understand and have seen he looks to have Xabi’s passing ability, particularly at short range, and his game intelligence. What’s different is his mobility and his ability to continue his involvement with a move beyond the initial pass or passes which is where Xabi’s game often stopped. Technically I don’t think there’s any doubt that Aquilani is a better player than Xabi provided he can stay fit.”
To see more reaction from fans on Aquilani’s imminent arrival at Liverpool and join in the discussions yourself, click here.