Rafa Benitez’ insists that Alberto Aquilani will fully commence his Liverpool career only when the time is right.
Alberto’s longest display for the reds came in the League Cup defeat away at Arsenal 4 weeks ago, but the player then went on to pick up a virus that ruled him out for 10 days.
Liverpool fans on LFC Reds have speculated to the reason as why he has not been introduced, with some suggesting the reds poor defensive form as a good reason to avoid throwing in the more attacking midfielder.
Benitez today explained his thinking over Alberto while speaking to the Daily Post.
“The player is fit. He is training. Match fitness is something you can improve by playing games, so why have I not been playing him? Because the games are so close that if you put a player on the pitch who is not physically ready [then] maybe he cannot settle down in time.
“If it is 1-0 like it was the other day and they are attacking a bit more and you changed Lucas, Gerrard or Mascherano to play him, maybe you are making a mistake because you will lose the control.
“If we were winning 3-0 in the first half of every game he would be playing because it would be easier for him to settle down.
The reds head to Goodison Park to face Everton in the 212th Merseyside Derby later today but Benitez will exercise caution again with the new boy.
“The derby game is a physical one and everyone knows that when you are not fully fit they can be difficult to manage so you have to think about what’s best for the player and the best for the team.
“I was talking with Alberto and he understands. He is clever and he knows that he hasn’t played for months so he has to be ready and fully fit if he is to be able to play at the level that he can play in England. He knows that it is a matter of time.”