Aquilani’s revival

3 May
Italy Soccer Serie A

7 goals so far this season – career best

It’s easy to be overlooked when you play in the midfield with David Pizarro and Borja Valero, when your teammates are in great form like Juan Cuadrado and Adem Ljajić, when the first star of your team is Stevan Jovetić. When Alberto Aquilani came to Fiorentina everyone has forgotten about his obvious talent and focused on the fact that he had few injury-riddled seasons ever since leaving Roma. Never managed to make a mark in Liverpool, had ok, but not great seasons in Juventus and Milan. Everyone was expecting that he’d miss half of the matches this season due to injuries. And it did seem that way at the beginning – he wasn’t fully fit for the start of the season and missed couple of games, but from November (his first start was vs Milan on 11th of November, which was round 12 of Serie A) he was without injuries and his form was only getting better with time.

When the team was playing badly in January, Aquilani was no exception. But the fact is – Aquilani’s stats this season show that he is having a great year, one of the best of his career! Obviously, numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, but they cannot be ignored either. And numbers say that he scored 7 goals and has 6 assists. There are just few better than him out of all midfielders in Serie A – Hamsik, Iličić, Hernanes and Vidal when it comes to goals scored. Numbers say – this is the best season of Aquaman’s career. His previous record was 4 goals in a season with Triestina in Serie B. When it comes to top division, it was 3 goals with Roma. Only Jovetić and Ljajić scored more goals than him this season in Fiorentina, and Luca Toni scored as many. It’s also been  years since Viola had a midfielder that scores consistently. Before the match vs his beloved Roma, Aquilani scored every 239 minutes he played.

aquilani2

Next stop: Italian NT

It’s not just numbers, though. Aquilani plays very good all over, Pizarro, Valero and he complement each other perfectly, and the style of football that Vincenzo Montella employs suits him perfectly. He seems to be better at pressing when the other team has possession, too, compared to some of the previous seasons. “Trio delle meraviglie” started ten games together from 1st minute. Out of those ten, Fiorentina won eight (had one draw and one loss, too). All three of them are, obviously, crucial to La Viola this season.

Having someone like Montella, who is close to players, who also only recently finished his playing career certainly helped Aquilani a lot. Also, the fact that club board didn’t put pressure on the team this season played a significant part in Aquilani’s performances. We will see if he can continue on the same path next season too, when there will, almost certainly, be more matches to play, whether Fiorentina plays Champions League of Europa League, but the signs are good – Aquilani seems to be back, after few seasons in which it seemed that he was on the decline. He still has a lot to prove, he has the ambition to get back in Italy squad. And Fiorentina seems like the team that has the plan to progress from season to season. Perfect match?

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