"He is 1.83, has blue eyes, and thick hair"
This was a quote from Massimiliano Allegri back in June when asked about what the mysterious X player looked like. Now there are three options:
1. Alberto Aquilani really does have blue eyes and has worn dark brown contacts his entire life because he's embarrassed to look like Philippe Mexes.
2. Massimiliano Allegri loves teasing us.
3. I'm colour-blind, in which case please let me know so I go see an optometrist.
Remember, never believe a word anyone at Milan says. You may remember Adriano Galliani telling heartbroken fans last year that the market was closed after the signing of Greek 'defender' (I use term defender loosely) Sokratis Papastathopolnjdfgewgreng...
After two weeks of hearing this depressing headline plastered all over every Italian newspaper, Berlusconi made the shock purchases of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a Brazilian samba dancer who just happened to know how to kick a football.
The point is, do not listen to Galliani when he says that Aquilani is the final signing. Whether or not he is, I'm delighted that we brought him over. During his days at Roma, Aquilani was considered the future on the Italian National Team. A versatile midfielder with great technique, a cannon shot from outside the box, and rare vision. Aquilani had all the tools necessary to become a modern box to box playmaker. Unfortunately, his career was derailed by nagging injuries which kept him sidelined during his last year at Roma, and even well into his short-lived Liverpool spell. Italian players for the most part have a hard time adjusting abroad, this doubled with the fact that the very person who brought him (Benitez) was fired after Aquilani's arrival at the England club (the doughy Rafa Benitez I remind you, sent from the heavens to help Milan in their scudetto quest). Aquilani was not only out of form, but new coach Roy Hodgson didn't see the Italian in his elaborate plans of sinking Liverpool into a relegation battle with West Ham. Alberto was loaned out to Juventus the following season, where he compiled an impressive 32 games total for the Turin side.
Alberto Aquilani. Milan's new creative midfielder
- One must tip his hat to Galliani, who pulled off an astute deal for the 27 year old midfielder. The deal is as follows: a loan which turns into a mandatory purchase of €6 million if the player makes more than 25 appearances for the Rossoneri.
- So basically, Milan purchased a fit Aquilani for one third the price that Liverpool paid for him when he was injured & out of form. It is almost as if Galliani is still stuck in the 90's with his wheeling and dealing. One of the few elite clubs that actually pays the RIGHT amount for a player. Congratulations, Adriano.
Aquilani will most likely play the left mezz'ala role that has been talked about so frequently this summer. He will be deployed on the left hand side of a three man midfield, and can also be slotted as an emergency trequartista if need be. His presence on the field gives Milan an added dimension that has been missing since Pirlo's departure. No longer will the game plan revolve around inaccurate lobs to the attack from Gattuso's bidet feet.
Strengths: A creative playmaker that excels in medium/long range passes, especially the ones that he keeps rasoterra (on the ground). Good at one touch passing, and has a cracking shot from range. Can also take free kicks and corners.
Weaknesses: Slender physique & considered injury prone. Durability will be put to the test once again as he will be starting in Milan's formation. Inconsistency is the reason Aquilani hasn't been able to become the world class talent that many thought he would be.
- Savvy move by Milan by paying peanuts for a starter. Will be interesting to see if another piece is brought in now that Mathieu Flamini is expected to be out for five months with an injury.
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