It is fair to say that the signing of Alberto Aquilani has to be one of the biggest farces in recent memory for Liverpool fans.
The club sold crowd favourite and arguable one of the best deep lying midfielders in the world at the time, Xabi Alonso, to Real Madrid. Then, as his replacement, they bought Aquilani - an injured attacking playmaker to take his place.
It was, and still is, a warped logic.
Aquilani took an age to get fit and when he did he didn’t fit.
Simply put, he was a flop.
And an expensive one to boot - Liverpool splashed out an incredible £17 million on the then AS Roma player.
What followed was a period of time perpetuated by successful loan spells with Juventus and AC Milan - but for some reason he just could not play in England.
Almost a year ago to the day The Reds realised that Aquilani had to go. Taking a massive hit on the fee originally spent on the player three years previous. While officially the price is listed as undisclosed it was widely believed to be in the region of £8 million - the deal being finalised on August 3rd 2012.
Once again he was being tasked with replacing a stalwart - this time Ricardo Montolivo, who had just signed with AC Milan.
What followed was easily his best season since playing in the Giallorossi of Roma.
And now he, like many, dares to dream of a Serie A title with Fiorentina - after La Viola made a litany of top quality signings such as Mario Gomez and Massimo Ambrosini this summer.
In fact … they are my cheeky bet to claim the Scudetto this season - with Juventus again the clear favourites. http://www.football-italia.net/37529/aquilani-fiorentina-title-chances
‘’We are preparing for a very important season. Obviously everyone likes to talk about the Scudetto... in order to reach the title you have to play a fantastic season without ups and downs. The club has done very well on the transfer market, but it will be very difficult to win the Scudetto.’’
His ambition is clearly present, despite tempering it toward the end of his remarks.
His ambition again rings clear when talking of the Europa League:
“It would be a great result and joy to win it in Juve’s stadium. The important thing is to go as far as possible, then we’ll see. Winning the Europa League would be extraordinary.”
A year on from being thrown on Premier League footballs scrapheap Aquilani now finds himself on the verge of his most ambitious and potentially most successful season yet.
Will that ambition be met come next summer?
image: © k1ngk0ng