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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Aquilani: I was forced to leave

Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani has claimed he was "forced" to go out on loan by the club after falling out of favour following the departure of Rafa Benitez.

Aquilani, 28, is back at Anfield after two seasons on loan in Italy, first with Juventus and then with AC Milan, and is hoping to make a mark under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Italian international voiced frustration at his treatment at the hands of both Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish, having been signed as a high value replacement for Xabi Alonso.

"How can you pay £20 million for a player and this player is never taken into consideration?" he said in an interview with 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."

He continued: "The situation changed after Benitez left. 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."

Aquilani, though, believes he will have an opportunity to rescue his ailing Liverpool career under Rodgers.

"I had a very good talk with Brendan where we were able to share our thoughts and it was a very positive chat," he explained. "I like his footballing philosophy and I like the mentality he has because it matches my own skills."

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