Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rafa Benitez and his belief about Aquilani

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has hinted that there could be a role for midfielder Alberto Aquilani when the Reds travel to Lille on Thursday night in the Europa League.

The Italian turned in a useful cameo in the Reds' Monday night defeat at Wigan Athletic and Benitez has confirmed that the player is certainly in contention.

"He had more mobility and he was trying to be involved when he played at Wigan," the Liverpool boss told his club's official website.

"The team was working harder when he came on and Alberto was trying to help dictate play. They had pushed a little bit deep and we had more time in possession.

"He is in our thoughts. We have to analyse carefully each decision we make about each player. We need people with energy and we need people with desire. If they show this on the pitch and in training, we will think about them more.

"The problem we have with him, though, is match fitness. He has got to play some games in a row and we have had conversations about this. He wants to be playing but the situation of the team does not allow you if he doesn't have that match fitness.

"You have got to be cautious with it. The other day (at Wigan) we thought it would be a good opportunity for him. When he got on, you could see his desire. He wanted to be involved and he wanted to help us."

Aquilani has made just 16 appearances for the Reds since his big-money move from Roma in the summer.

Injury has meant that he has struggled for fitness after undergoing ankle surgery in the summer, but Benitez feels that the player's experiences will stand him in good stead for next season.

"If Alberto has time (to develop), it will be different next season," the Spaniard added.

"We know this. But we cannot wait for next season. If he can give us something, we have to use him now. We will monitor him in every training session to see what he can do.

"We are looking for positives from him all the time. If he shows it all the time, we will play him. He is desperate to help. He wants to play and he wants to do well. But the only way to do that is to train really well and make sure he is available."

No comments :

Post a Comment