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Carragher: Aquilani signing was a complete and utter mess

Jamie Carragher has opened up over the disastrous signing of Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani in 2009.

Liverpool fans were in a state of great sadness and disappointment over the transfer to Real Madrid of the much loved Spaniard Xabi Alonso who was more or less forced out of the club by Rafa Benitez.

His shoes were going to be an almighty challenge to fill, and the choice was Aquilani. It represented a huge gamble, but not the fun kind you will find at CSGOBook.com. On reflection, this was a gamble Liverpool had no chance of winning with.

 

Arriving at the club from Roma as a 25 year-old, Aquilani was a tidy technical player and seemingly entering his prime.

 

But his injury record was of great concern, and add to the fact that he was coming to a new league that played at a completely different tempo than what he was used to, there was indeed some raised eyebrows over the purchase.

 

No more than Carragher who recalled his thoughts of the transfer in The Athletic (via Football 365)

“It was just a complete and utter mess.

“It was a panic signing. Xabi [Alonso] was going and there was that sense of, ‘We have to get someone in’.

 

"But we signed someone who hadn’t played for months and was months away from being fit again.

“He was injured when he arrived and there was pressure on the medical staff to get him back quick. 

“It soon became clear it would take longer than the club had initially put out there and that then caused problems for the medical staff.

“It was a terrible decision all-round to bring him in. It just wouldn’t happen these days with the structure Liverpool have in place with a sporting director.

 

alberto-aquilani-620-543126375.jpg
 

Carra admitted it was a difficult period at the club and he certainly felt for the position that his new teammate was in.

“I felt sorry for the lad because he was caught in the middle of it.  He was put in a position he shouldn’t have been put in.

“I’m not having this talk about the finances at the time or missing out on who we really wanted.

“Managers frequently don’t get their first target. Look at Alex Ferguson. He missed out on Alan Shearer and signed Eric Cantona.

 

The club legend also said the departure of Xabi should have been foreseen by the club hierarchy especially after what transpired the previous summer. 

“If you couldn’t replace him properly, then why sell Xabi? 

“He was always going to want to go that summer with what happened the previous year with Gareth Barry. 

“You’ve still got to spend the money you can spend wisely. 

“All the lads were disappointed about Xabi leaving. He had been there a long time and he’d had a great last season for Liverpool.”

Aquilani made a total of 28 largely unremarkable appearances for the Reds and was quickly shunted off early in the following season to Juventus on loan.

From there, he became a footballing journeyman making stops at AC Milan, Fiorentina, Sporting CP, Pescara, Sassuolo, before finishing in Spain with Las Palmas in 2018.

They talk about one-season wonders in Football but for Aquilani, the 2009/10 campaign was one of true woe.


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“I’m not having this talk about the finances at the time or missing out on who we really wanted."

 

Yeah, the club being run into the ground by two conmen had nothing to do with the chaos off the pitch. Thank God they appointed Purslow and Hodgson to steady the ship and get some better players in.

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The Aquilani signing was a fuck up, I'm glad after all these years a professional pundit has seen fit to come out and explain something that none of us could ever possibly have figured out on our own. 

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The worst part wasnt the Aquilani signing. It was the treatment of Alonso after he wanted to be at his wife's side and kid's birth, then his attempted replacement with Barry. WTF was Benitez thinking? Barry, Alonso, Alonso, Barry? Tough fucking choice, eh?

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I was gutted about how this turned out. I was living in Italy at the time and had seen him play live loads of times.  Man Utd were reportedly interested in so I had paid attention to him. He looked really really good. The Italian football press loved him.  He was really tidy, passed well, created well.  But he was injured every 2nd game. 

 

So when we signed him it was the 1st time I actually properly knew about a player from a foreign league who wasn't a massive name.  I told anyone that'd listen that he'd be great.  That went well......

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One of the reasons we supposedly went after him was that Roma were happy for us to structure the payments in a way that allowed us to pay only around £5m up front. Given the parlous state of the club's finances, that was about the best we could do. Trouble was, aside from all the concerns outlined in the article, the total fee was far too high for a player with so many question marks around him. I remember him having a decent game against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi at Anfield, but other than that, he was a peripheral figure.

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2 hours ago, Trumo said:

One of the reasons we supposedly went after him was that Roma were happy for us to structure the payments in a way that allowed us to pay only around £5m up front. Given the parlous state of the club's finances, that was about the best we could do. Trouble was, aside from all the concerns outlined in the article, the total fee was far too high for a player with so many question marks around him. I remember him having a decent game against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi at Anfield, but other than that, he was a peripheral figure.

Most transfers are spread out and not all upfront in one lump sum. 

 

That was just fantasy spread by people who couldn't accept Rafa could make any mistake at all. 

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Im liking all these little stories cropping up- Lambert has done one slating Ballotelli whilst also revealing that we tried to sell him (Lambert) within about 4 weeks of signing him for some reason.

 

Im looking forward to somebody giving us an account of the everyday life in training with Voronin 

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11 minutes ago, Dave D said:

Im liking all these little stories cropping up- Lambert has done one slating Ballotelli whilst also revealing that we tried to sell him (Lambert) within about 4 weeks of signing him for some reason.

 

Im looking forward to somebody giving us an account of the everyday life in training with Voronin 

Probably because Rodgers saw him in training. 

 

Nah I wanted Lambert to have a decent two years, plunder a few goals, maybe reach double figures off the bench then go and see out his twiglight elsewhere. I thought it could be a shrew move.

 

Ballofuckingtelli though. 

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