Alberto Aquilani had to leave Liverpool, insists Kenny Dalglish
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish could make no space for Alberto Aquilani in his first-team plans this year, despite the Italy midfielder's performances for the Reds in pre-season.
Aquilani has returned to his homeland to join AC Milan on loan for the remainder of the 2011-12 campaign in a deal which includes an option to make the move permanent.
The 27-year-old arrived at Anfield from Roma in 2009 but struggled to make an impact in the Premier League and was allowed to spend last term back in Serie A with Juventus. It was widely thought that his Liverpool career had reached an end, but Aquilani featured frequently for the Merseyside club throughout their pre-season schedule.
Since the competitive matches have got under way, though, he has had no involvement in the Reds' opening fixtures, and Dalglish made it clear Aquilani was unlikely to see much action if he did not find himself somewhere else to play.
"It's a great move for Alberto. He's got his wife and kid over there. It was difficult for him here," Dalglish said. "When he came back his pre-season training was excellent. We gave him a few games, he did well in those games.
"But the problem for us was trying to get him in the team. We couldn't get him in the team. Obviously everybody wants to play and Alberto is moving over to a fantastic football club. He goes there with the best wishes of everyone and we hope it works out for him, because he was never a problem in any way, shape or form."
Liverpool host Bolton today (5.30) and will be without Raul Meireles, who suffered a collarbone injury in the 3-1 Carling Cup victory at Exeter. Dalglish said that the Portugal midfielder will be out for up to fortnight.