Calcio Debate: Liverpool ‘Flop’ Alberto Aquilani Is Reborn As Juventus Revival Continues

Posted on 19/10/2010

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Juventus continue to improve under Gigi Del Neri, as Alberto Aquilani shows Liverpool what fools they were for letting him go…


On the weekend where the crisis of England’s most successful club went from bad to worse with yet another defeat to Everton in the Merseyside Derby, a result that sees Liverpool floundering in the relegation zone, out-on-loan Reds midfielder Alberto Aquilani poured yet more salt into an already sore wound with an indomitable performance for an increasingly improving Juventus side.

While there is no doubt that Liverpool erred in splashing out €20 million on a player who has had more injuries than a Nigel De Jong torture victim, especially as he was signed as Xabi Alonso’s replacement, all this talk of the 26-year-old being an unmitigated ‘flop’ is rather, well, premfaced. Not only did Aquilani play very well in virtually all of his admittedly low number of 26 games for Liverpool last season, more importantly the 2007 Champions League finalists are crying out for a commanding midfielder of his ilk just now.

Juventus were already laughing all the way to the bank when they managed to sell the worst player to represent the Bianconeri for at least a decade – Christian Poulsen – to Liverpool for €5.5m, their merriment increased even further when they were handed Aquilani on loan in return, with the option to buy him permanently. In the space of a few months Liverpool have gone from a midfield of Mascherano-Aquilani-Gerrard to one including Poulsen, the equally awful Lucas and Raul Meireles. No wonder they are in the relegation zone.

The Roman has gradually been implemented into the Juventus starting XI, and the last few weeks has demonstrated that if he can stay fit he will be a top-class – potentially world class – midfielder for the Old Lady. He confirmed his impressive showing against Inter a fortnight ago with another super display in the 4-0 thrashing of Lecce yesterday afternoon. Aquilani opened the scoring with a 25-yard thunderbolt, and controlled the middle-of-the-park alongside fellow reborn team-mate Felipe Melo.


Aquilani – Impressing At Juve

The Brazilian had an horrific first season in Turin last term, following his big-money move from Fiorentina where he had been the best midfielder in Serie A in 2008/09, but Luigi Del Neri has rediscovered the 27-year-old. Melo tucked away the non-existent penalty Juve were awarded yesterday with an impudent ‘Panenka’ chip down the middle of the goal, an execution that symbolised his form and confidence. As well as his renowned defensive work, Melo was even surprisingly spraying 50-yard Michel Platini raking-passes around the pitch.

With Milos Krasic once again unstoppable on the right flank, and centre-back duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci blossoming to earn a second clean sheet in a row, there is no doubt that Juventus are growing in stature. Finally, the Bianconeri have a recognisable system and style of play.

It is unlikely that the Old Lady will challenge for the Scudetto this season. There are still far too many weaknesses such as the full back positions, the left midfield role, and the absence of a top-class forward. But, if Juve maintain their current form then a top four spot at least should be a guarantee. And that will enable them to fill these holes with Edin Dzeko-calibre stars and really challenge for major honours from 2011/12.

Just like Liverpool now, Juventus recently hit rock bottom both on-and-off-the-pitch. But the signs are there, with a new president who shares his grandfather’s values, a new stadium on the way, a ‘new’ group of promising players such as Aquilani, Melo, Krasic and Bonucci, and a new, clear system, that Italy’s most successful team are on the road to success again sooner rather than later.

Source: Goal.com

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