Aquilani only match fitness away from debut

Liverpool have been boosted by the news that new £18million midfielder Alberto Aquilani has made a recovery from his ankle injury and only needs to build up match fitness again to make his long-awaited debut for the club.

Aquilani was signed from Roma in the summer but a long-term ankle problem has delayed the start of his career at Anfield.

However on Friday he completed his first full training session with the rest of the squad and now looks on course to make his debut for Liverpool in the next few weeks.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez told the club’s official web site, “Aquilani has been training – he’s had two sessions with the team. Physically he can improve but at least now he can play football with the team. It’s very positive.

“It depends how he progresses physically. In terms of the problem he had with his ankle, he has to keep training. We’ll be away this weekend so he has time to improve.

“Hopefully in the next week he’ll continue with the team, then it’s a question of his match fitness, nothing else.”

It is understood that Liverpool’s Carling Cup tie with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on October 28th has been penciled in as the Italian’s return to football.