Former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani has revealed he rejected the prospect to transfer to each Arsenal and Chelsea earlier than reluctantly accepting a suggestion from Anfield. The Italian was introduced to Merseyside as an try to change the outgoing Xabi Alonso, who was en route to Real Madrid on the time, however his profession didn’t catch mild in England. Now the supervisor of Fiorentina’s under-19 aspect, Aquilani was as soon as one of many hottest midfield properties in soccer, drawing comparisons to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo throughout his time with Roma. The 37-year-old grew up a fan of the membership and admitted in an interview with Liverpool Echo that leaving the Stadio Olimpico by no means crossed his thoughts, even when Arsenal and Chelsea got here knocking.
“Liverpool was an enormous change for me,” Aquilani admitted. “I used to be a participant born in Rome. Player for Roma. Supporter of Roma. For me it was very troublesome to depart Roma. “I had had a variety of probabilities to transfer from Roma I bear in mind after I was youthful. Arsenal and Chelsea gave me large presents however there was by no means any probability I’d depart Roma. “When my agent instructed me Liverpool wished me, for me it was just like the years earlier than with Arsenal, Chelsea, Juventus when Roma by no means bought me.” However, the transfer to the Reds went by due to a change in strategy from the membership in 2009, fairly than Aquilani. “But when my agent instructed me that Roma wished to promote me, for me it was totally different. For me it was unimaginable to consider altering from Roma to one other membership, to one other nation.” Eventually, Rafa Benitez signed the midfielder for £20 million however he arrived with a critical ankle harm, and didn’t make his debut till November. He made simply 18 appearances within the opening marketing campaign earlier than he tumbled down the pecking order following the arrival of Roy Hodgson for the 2010-11 season. One of the Italian’s ultimate matches for Liverpool got here in opposition to Chelsea at Anfield in May 2010 as objectives from Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba helped safe a 2-0 win en route to the Premier League title.