Liverpool boss uncertain over midfield star

Published Add your comment

Football News

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez admits he must assess the risk of using Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani in Tuesday's critical Barclays Premier League clash at Aston Villa.

The £20million summer signing from Roma finally made his first Barclays Premier League start in Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Wolves. He has struggled with fitness and injury all season and had to be substituted with six minutes to go on Boxing Day complaining of a hamstring problem.

Benitez said: "Aquilani did well against Wolves, but he needs match fitness. He was trying to be involved, passing and creating chances, but the Premier League is difficult and he will settle down little by little."

He added: "It is a difficult decision with the Villa game coming so quickly. Some of our players were very tired after the Wolves match, while some had little injuries. We will need to assess them all.

"We will have to manage them carefully but clearly if Javier Mascherano is not available for the next three games through suspension, then Aquilani will obviously have more chance of time on the pitch.

"But against Wolves he was worried about his hamstring, he was concerned and I wanted to protect him. That is why we took him off."

Benitez would prefer to utilise two holding midfield men in what promises to be a tough match against Villa.

Lucas was troubled by a stomach upset ahead of the Wolves match and Liverpool looked weak in midfield at times.

Benitez could solve that problem by playing Steven Gerrard in a deeper role.

The Spaniard said: "Maybe we would normally have two holding players for such a game, but we have options. Gerrard can play in that role, we will see. Lucas was tiring against Wolves, he was not well, but now we must see how he recovers and whether he can have more energy now. It all depends on how the players feel and react after the Wolves game."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again