£20m Liverpool flop dreaming of World Cup ... where he could go head-to-head with Gerrard

Alberto Aquilani has turned his career around since leaving Liverpool.Can he make the Italian World Cup squad?

Last summer Brendan Rodgers cut many names from the previous regimes he was inheriting at Anfield. The exit door was left open for the likes of Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam and Joe Cole - all asked to start considering a future away from Anfield. Another such player was Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

The midfielder was signed by Rafa Benitez for £20 million in 2009. He was brought in as a replacement for Xabi Alonso despite his tendency to play further up the pitch not to mention an ongoing ankle problem that saw him waiting until November to make his Premier League debut.

In the end he only started nine Premier League games for the Merseyside club and spent two seasons out on loan, with Juventus and AC Milan, before completing a move to Fiorentina in August 2012.

The 28-year-old joined a club managed by a former team-mate in Vincenzo Montella and with most of his injury problems seemingly behind him he began showing some of the ability that once saw Liverpool spend such big money on his services.

Since his move to Florence he has turned things around. A vital cog in the heart of La Viola’s midfield he has also been knocking on the door of the Italian team in recent months.

He was a member of the squad that went to Brazil fir the Confederations Cup in the summer - and a year later he wants to go to Brazil for a second summer in a row.

He is hoping to go with the Azzurri to the World Cup next summer - which would be his first and potentially last opportunity to take part in this prestigious tournament for Italy.

Speaking about the competition he said:

“Being picked for the squad is the objective of all. This could be my last World Cup Italy boss Cesare Prandelli expects even more from me, but now I have six months left to convince him to pick me.”

Interestingly, if he does make it to the World Cup under Cesare Prandelli, he will have the chance to go up against some former Liverpool team-mates in the England squad.

And he will love to get the once over on them.

image: © k1ngk0ng

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