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Arsene Wenger: Arsenal wanted Alberto Aquilani

Alberto Aquilani is expected to make his debut for Liverpool against Arsenal on Wednesday night but Arsene Wenger has revealed that the Italian could have been donning the red shirt of the home side.

Aquilani joined Liverpool from Roma for a fee of £20 million over the summer but has been prevented from making his debut due to injury. With his fitness problems now behind him, the Italy international should make an appearance in the Carling Cup tie.

But Aquilani was also a player who interested Arsenal following some eye-catching performances in Serie A and Wenger only halted his pursuit when the player suffered from fitness problems last season.

"Yes I know him well," Wenger told the club's official website. "He played against us in the Champions League last year and came off the bench in Rome. He is a talented player but has been troubled a lot by injuries.

"We followed him for one or two years but he did not play a lot last year so he got a little bit out of sight for us and we lost our interest in him."

Arsenal are expected to stick with tradition and field a weakened team in Wednesday's game but Samir Nasri could make his return from a broken leg and Eduardo and Nicklas Bendtner have also been named in an 18-man squad.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have announed that 21-year-old midfielder Damien Plessis, who made his debut against Arsenal in April 2008, has signed a new contract that ties him to the club until 2012.


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