Thursday, 6 August 2009

Ex Red Riise says Aquilani is more dangerous then Alonso

Ex Liverpool player John Arne Riise thinks Liverpool's capture of talented midfielder Alberto Aquilani is a major coup for the Anfield club, claiming he could be more dangerous to opposition teams then recently departed Xabi Alonso.

Riise who joined Roma last summer after seven years with the Reds is well placed to assess just what Aquilani will bring to Liverpool.

“When I first came to Roma, I didn’t know a thing about Aquilani,” said Riise to the Express.

“I knew all about Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Philippe Mexes, of course, but Aquilani was the player who surprised me the most in my first months with what he could do."

“He’s really good on the ball, with good passing, good movement, he works hard and is a good professional."

“He likes to have the ball at his feet but not because he likes to dribble, he just wants to keep the team moving. He never stands still, he’s always on the run."

“He certainly runs more than Xabi and is probably more dangerous in terms of getting in the box and trying to score goals."

“When I came to Rome he was my neighbour and helped me out a lot. He’s a good friend. Liverpool will be getting a very good player.”

“There is an obvious difference between the Italian and English leagues,” said Riise. “Here it is more tactical whereas in England you’re playing 90 minutes up and down, up and down, and there is more emphasis on power and physical force. But Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t all about physique and he has been the best player in the Premier League in recent seasons."

“Everyone can adapt. It just takes time. The key is how long it takes. I was lucky. I fitted in quite quickly when I came from Monaco. Alberto is someone who wants to make the most of his talent and wants to prove himself, so if Liverpool come in for you it is very hard to say no.”

Riise also spoke about Livepool's upcoming Premiership campaign and the Norwegian international believes it could be the Anfield clubs time to win.

“Last season I was so sure they would do it. They made a fantastic start but drew some games and United got stronger,” said Riise. “I really hope they can do it this time. Xabi and Alvaro Arbeloa leaving is a shame, but Glen Johnson is a brilliant signing."

“All the Premier League games are shown on Sky Italia, and I managed to watch every Liverpool game last season. The club is in my heart. I had all my highlights at Liverpool. I still speak with Stevie [Gerrard] and Carra [Jamie Carragher], as well as Pepe Reina and Dirk Kuyt."

“The first months for me at Roma were hard, learning a new language and settling in, but I am happy here and enjoying it. We can have a really good season and I hope Liverpool can, too.”

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