Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani claims that he was “pushed” out on loan by the club in recent years but that he is now ready to prove himself to new manager Brendan Rodgers.
The 28-year-old, who was bought by Rafael Benitez as a replacement for Xabi Alonso in Aug. 2009, has not featured for the Merseyside club in a competitive game since the former boss' departure two years ago.
Since then, Aquiliani has spent loan spells at Juventus and AC Milan, but is aiming to finally play regularly for his parent club in 2012-13.
"How can you pay 20 million pounds for a player and this player is never taken into consideration?" he wondered to BBC Sport.
"I never asked to leave but I was always pushed by the club. I am here and I would like to play for Liverpool but it doesn't depend only on me."
Having played 45 minutes of Liverpool's 2-1 friendly defeat by Roma on Wednesday, the Italy international is keen to put the frustrations of previous seasons behind him and start to pay back the large investment that had been put into him by the Anfield outfit.
"The situation changed after Benitez left," Aquliani continued. "In past years, I felt forced out. I never asked to go on loan but they made it clear it was better for me to go. I think Liverpool people have to know that I have never said I wanted to leave the city because my family and I were not happy here. This is not true.
"I cannot say I have unfinished business in English football because I really never played but, the little I did, I believe I was able to show to Liverpool fans that I have quality and that I could have helped the team."
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- Rafael Benitez