NICK PEET: Light finally begins to flicker for Liverpool FC's Alberto Aquilani

01 February 2010 03:00
ALBERTO AQUILANI has been forced to endure a tumultuous start to his Anfield career. The young Italian international looks some way off living up to his £20million price-tag right now, with stop-start appearances and constant changes in position further unsettling his progress.

And so, hopefully, Saturday's far post header assist, which teed up Dirk Kuyt for the Reds' opener and ultimately set Rafa Benitez's side on the road to maximum points against Bolton, will act like a shot in the arm for the young Roman.

The moment when confidence kicks in and Reds fans, hungry for excitement and positives in this car crash of a campaign, will get to see the very best of the young Italian with the big reputation.

Since he arrived on Merseyside Aquilani has had to fight his way into contention from first surgery, then a slow rehabilitation and then a three-month battle for match fitness.

His own situation, coupled with the Reds' alarming change in form and fortune, has already led to some critics jumping on the Italian's back - even before he's had the chance to string two appearances together.

I've already heard Aquilani being described as Rafa's guilty secret by some sections of the media.

That he's nothing more than a shiny new, bright red Ferrari with the registration plate 'RAFA 1'.

He's that luxury purchase one might make when money is burning a hole in your pocket. A bit of an impulse buy that you take one good look at before thinking; 'Yeah, that's for me. That will turn heads. That'll do the business'.

Source: Liverpool_Echo