Thursday, 3 March 2011

Why the Reds should recall Aquilani and Insua in the summer

With Juventus facing financial difficulty and the Reds lacking a fully fit, natural left back the possibility of Alberto Aquilani and Emiliano Insua returning to Anfield this summer from Turin and Galatasary respectively has been discussed and debated extensively over recent weeks.

Particular emphasis has been placed upon Aquilani, as the Italian midfielder has impressed during his brief return to his home country, appearing 22 times for Juventus and netting twice for his temporary employers. The 26-year old made only four more appearances during his single, injury ravaged season on Merseyside, bagging the same relatively low number of goals.

Signed for an excessive £17 million from Roma, former manager Rafael Benitez hoped that the Italy international would replace the recently departed Xabi Alonso at the fulcrum of our midfield but, although he displayed some genuine passing ability at times, the full extent of his passing range was never seen at Anfield. This rightly caused many to question the rationale behind Benitez spending such a significant chunk of his transfer budget on an injured player with a history of niggling ankle injuries.

On top of that Aquilani also struggled to settle into the Premier League as the physical nature of England's top division requires time to get used to and unfortunately, despite encouraging performances towards the end of last season, he didn't receive that time as Hodgson swiftly loaned him out to Italian giants Juventus last summer.

Aquilani had shown signs of promise towards the end of the season, with his fantastic strike giving us the lead against Athletico Madrid in the Europa League semi final. His fluidity and forward thinking also contributed to a better close to the campaign, and left many baffled when Hodgson loaned him out. Selling him and recouping funds to invest in the squad may have received a warmer reception, however loaning out a potential starter seemed illogical with Hicks and Gillett still holding the purse strings.

For me though the decision to loan young left back Emiliano Insua to Galatasary on the final day of the summer transfer window was an even more unwise move, as it not only left us lacking defensive depth, but also deprived the Reds of a quality left back with bags full of potential. Despite being only 22 years old Insua quickly sprung up through the reserve side and became an integral part of Benitez's back four, making a stunning 62 appearances and also representing Diego Maradona's Argentina at international level.

Although Insua suffered a drop in form and struggled defensively throughout last season, his attacking threat remained as he stormed down the left wing at regular intervals, adding a much needed extra element to our attack, as well as whipping in dangerous crosses that Andy Carroll would relish. Also, Insua has time on his hands to improve defensively and playing alongside defensive stalwart Jamie Carragher would accelerate his development further.

Insua eventually became irreplaceable in Benitez's eyes and, although the Spaniard can be criticised for his stubborn unwillingness to drop him when he under-performed, Rafa should be applauded for capturing an exciting prospect with plenty of potential that could still be fulfilled at Anfield. Similarly, Aquilani still has unfinished business at Liverpool and could return to silence his critics and add some much needed depth to our paper thin squad.

Aurelio, Gerrard, Kelly, Meireles, Cole, Agger, Carragher and Johnson have all missed action due to injury this season and, coupled unfavourably with the ruthless pair of asset stripping parasites who previously owned our club and our dangerous lack of squad depth is both understandable and unmistakeable. The fact that we will struggle after losing young right back Martin Kelly, a player who has become irreplaceable under Dalglish despite rarely appearing under Hodgson, starkly displays our meagre squad depth and urgent need for reinforcements.

With that in mind Roy Hodgson's decision to loan Alberto Aquilani and Emiliano Insua out in the first place is exposed as both incredibly foolish and short sighted, especially considering he replaced them with the much maligned Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky.

The promise possessed by Insua and the improvement displayed both this season and at the end of the previous campaign by Alberto Aquilani are credible arguments in favour of their summer return, however the most important reason why the Reds should recall the promising pair is because we shouldn't have let them leave in the first place.

Fans' Opinion

"Aquilani to come back. We're lacking creativity which he can provide given a chance." Ben Ford

"The creativity of Aquilani is what we need in our side. He should come back and prove he can cut it in the Premier League. I'm not sure about Insua though, he had a fair run in the side, although we were a side in decline at the time." Martin Fogarty

"I think Insua would fit in quite well, our left back spot has been really problematic. Aquilani, however, I'm not too sure. I don't think he'd fit in with the team, especially with Meireles and Gerrard both in our midfield." Raj 'El Rey' Sehmi

"At the moment Aquilani is playing well for Juventus but he isn't good enough in England, so I hope we could get £21 million for him. Insua is a waste so I'd sell him for £6 million, then we could bring in a few wingers." Gaurav Gaind



  1. Aquilani never got enough time to settle in when he first came through injury then not getting picked but would take him back to get a bit more passing going in the midfield.

    And thought Insua played well most of the time and he is still young so he should improve with age. YNWA

  2. aqua play good but benitez took him at wrong position...he play better at juve coz he got his right position
    insua...young...full of pace...hardworking...need to polish more in defending...
    konchesky...honestly i'm said he's good at center coz he got calm mind and slow play style...better than robust soto and skrtel (both suck)
    just take them to our team...