Premier League - Benitez gives Aquilani backing

Eurosport - Mon, 08 Mar 12:17:00 2010

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez insists that he will pick 20 million midfielder Alberto Aquilani when the time is right.

FOOTBALL 2009-2010 Premier League Liverpool Benitez Aquilani - 0

The Italy international, who was sidelined with injury when he arrived from Roma last summer, has struggled to break into the first team despite now being fully fit.

Aquilani has only made a dozen domestic appearances for the Reds so far this season, but Benitez insists that his exclusion from the side is an unfortunate by-product of Liverpool's poor start to the season.

"When you have been injured for a while, it's not easy for a player," said Benitez.

"Then when you are available and the team isn't doing well, it makes it even more difficult.

"You have to decide if you can afford to give him two or three games when you know he's maybe not at the level he could be, so you could end up losing some of them.

"Alberto isn't stupid. He knows the priority now has to be the team and what's best for that. All he can do is keep training and making sure he is ready when we need him."

Aquilani's agent Franco Zavaglia also confirmed that his client was happy at Anfield.

"Alberto made a decision of a lifetime," said Zavaglia. "He is fine at Liverpool and next year will be the most important for him."


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