These days, the Liverpool recruitment strategy is lauded as one of the best in Europe.
Under Michael Edwards, the Reds have pulled off some major coups by shopping in the previously-relegated market (Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum spring to mind) and that’s without mentioning the recently acquired Diogo Jota, who has made an instant impact this season.
Still, it hasn’t always been that way and one of the club’s most infamous flops has opened up on his time at Anfield.
Speaking to the Guardian, Alberto Aquilani has revealed he knew his time with the Reds was over as soon as Roy Hodgson arrived on Merseyside.
Just a year into his £20m move from Roma following the departure of Xabi Alonso, the Italian midfielder left on loan for Juventus despite a reasonably strong end to the season.
During the club’s Europa League run, he had helped put the team in-front against Atletico Madrid before Diego Forlan broke their hearts in the semi-final, winning the Man of the Match Award in the process.
Still, Aquilani revealed that a conversation with Hodgson - who proved unpopular during his brief spell as Liverpool manager - told him all he needed to know.
‘I met Roy - he spoke to me in Italian and was a gentleman but told me he wanted to buy Joe Cole and make the team more English' he said.
‘It was obvious I would not get many chances to play so I decided it would be good for me to go back to Italy.'
While Aquilani does have a reputation as a flop, it’s not overly fair.
He did impress at times and struggled with injury but the fact he was seen by sections of the media as a replacement for Alonso made his job harder, such was the Spaniard’s influence.
Over the course of his only full campaign in the Premier League, the Italian recorded the second-highest number of assists for his club (6, one behind Steven Gerrard), so clearly had a positive impact.
Cole, meanwhile, was a complete disaster, much like Hodgson’s brief reign.
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