Alberto Aquilani was brought to Anfield by Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2009 on a five year contract worth Stg 20 million including add ons. The Italian came to Liverpool with an ankle injury and it took him a while longer than expected to heal, train and get back to fitness. Liverpool were not having the best of seasons but when the he did play, especially later on in the season, the fans started to see glimpses of quality, pronouncing him Man of The Match on more than one occasion.
Roy Hodgson parked a Stg 20 million investment like Aquilani at Juve for the 2010/11 season and brought in Raul Meirelles for a further Stg 11.5 million to very much do the same work that the Italian does so naturally. Hodgson claimed that the attacking midfielder needed games to regain his fitness and his confidence (perhaps with this reasoning there might have been at least another two players that could have been loaned out, Torres included!). The Meirelles deal has worked wonderfully for us, but perhaps loaning out the Italian was still a mistake.
The deal with Juve was for a season long loan and an option to buy the player outright for a fee of Euro 16 million. Unsurprisingly, Aquilani was an instant hit at the Turin club and within a few months media rumours started to circulate that both club and player wanted to make the deal permanent. Alas, Juve have come out saying that they will sign the player, but they are will to pay only Euro 5 million!
This declaration and standpoint from Juventus beckons an explanation. Juventus are currently constructing a Euro 110 million stadium, which will incidentally be the first stadium owned by a Serie A club. The Juventus Arena, which will be a 41,000 seater, is being constructed on the ashes of the 69,000 Delle Alpi. Money for the transfer market however has not been free-flowing.
From a first team squad of 27, Juventus have two players on loan from Udinese, two from Napoli, and one each from Lyngby, Arsenal, Cagliari and Liverpool. That’s 8 players on loan! Furthermore, they took on Luca Toni in January from Genoa on a free. Juventus are not the type of club to build success with on-loan players. Times change, and the Turin club is now run on its own steam so at present this is their only alternative to try and compete with the other Serie A top guns.
Unless Juventus are prepared to dig deep into their pockets, Liverpool will have no alternative but to either find another interested party, or better still, bring the talented Italian back to Anfield. The return to the passing game is an ambience Aquilani will thrive in. The lad is a Liverpool asset at present. The season with Juventus would have brought back continuity, confidence and self belief. King Kenny will have the final say, but the offer the bianconeri have made is nothing short of shameful and totally unacceptable, so they must find a way to meet the Stg 11 million being so rightly demanded by the Reds.