Football FanCast guest columnist Francis Lovell hopes that Aquilani will prove the answer to Liverpool's problem midfield.
As Alberto Aquilani steps up his return to full fitness and closer to his Anfield debut, Liverpool fans are left to wonder whether the Italian can be the answer to our midfield prayers. That is the £20m question and one we have been waiting weeks for an answer to.
Anyone who has watched Liverpool home and away this season will know our centre midfield has been an absolute lottery and top class opposition have had a field day against it. Why it has been easy to point the finger at Lucas (a player who in my opinion doesn't deserve half the amount of stick he gets), the bottom line is that it's the set-up of the midfield that is wrong and the presence of two ball winners in him and Mascherano is never likely to cause the opposition much in the way of problems, that is why it is so important to have a dynamic presence in the midfield and someone who has to make the opposition think and one that puts them on the back foot.
They say you only miss things when they are gone and the loss of Alonso has hit us a lot more than I ever thought it would, not only as an attacking force, but also defensively and providing that barrier in front of the back four alongside Mascherano. Unfortunately we haven't enjoyed that balance and both Lucas and Javier have attempted to take on his mantle, but as we have found out Xabi's boots are big ones to fill. We can only hope that Aquilani is able to hit the ground running and justify why Benitez pinned all his hopes on him filling the gaping hole that Alonso's departure created; fingers crossed that he will, because our midfield is in desperate need of a creative presence.
888Sport – Get a Piece of the Action: join now and get £50 in free bets today!