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Aquilani in line for Liverpool debut

Liverpool's £20 million summer signing Alberto Aquilani could make his long-awaited debut for the Anfield club against Arsenal in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

The Italian midfielder, signed as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, who joined Real Madrid for £30 million in August, has been fully involved in Liverpool's training prior to the fourth round clash, and is set to feature from the substitutes bench at the Emirates Stadium.

Aquilani played for 15 minutes of a reserve match last week, having been recovering from a knee operation since his arrival at the club, and is now relishing a chance to show what he can do in the first team.

He said: "It was good to play for the reserves because I haven't played for a long time, but to play for the first team is something different again and I am looking forward to that.

"I really want to play, but I need to be patient, I know the time will come for me. I will be very happy when I make my debut. This is my job, it's what I am here to do, and I am looking forward to it."

With his first-team debut finally on the horizon, Aquilani was keen to thank his fellow players and the staff at the club's Melwood training ground for helping him settle into life on Merseyside.

He added: "I want to thank all the players and the people at the club because they have been very helpful to me since I arrived here.

"Obviously as Andrea Dossena is here and speaks Italian, he has helped me, but I want to take the opportunity to thank every player.

"It has been difficult, but now I want to build up my confidence and I hope to bring out the best of my game here."

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