LIVERPOOL - New Liverpool signing Alberto Aquilani said he hoped to learn from "the strongest midfielder in the world" and cannot wait to start playing alongside Steven Gerrard.
Aquilani, 26, was unveiled by Liverpool on Thursday and immediately set his sights on helping his new club win the title for the first time in 20 years.
But it is the prospect of appearing with Gerrard that really excites the Italy international midfielder, a 20 million pounds buy from Roma.
"Even before I came to Liverpool I thought Steven Gerrard was the strongest midfielder in the world," Aquilani told reporters.
"I'm looking forward to playing with him and learning from him."
Liverpool fans will have to wait between one and two months to see the new signing in action because Aquilani is recovering from an ankle injury.
Benitez said Aquilani was not a direct replacement for Xabi Alonso, who has joined Real Madrid.
"Xabi is a holding midfielder while Alberto is a player of more mobility," Benitez said ahead of his sixth season in charge at Anfield.
Liverpool open their Premier League campaign away at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
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