Jamie Carragher admits he felt sorry for Alberto Aquilani, who was a panic buy for Liverpool and joined the club injured and out of shape.
One of the most expensive mistakes in Liverpool history, Aquilani joined from Roma for just under £20 million and played just 18 Premier League games for the club in three years.
The midfielder left for no more than £1 million in 2012 and Carragher, who once named Aquilani as one of Liverpool's three worst signings of his time as a player, sympathises with the Italian.
"It was just a complete and utter mess," Carragher told The Athletic.
"It was a panic signing. Xabi (Alonso) was going and there was that sense of, 'We have to get someone in'. But we signed someone who hadn't played for months and was months away from being fit again.
"He was injured when he arrived and there was pressure on the medical staff to get him back quick. It soon became clear it would take longer than the club had initially put out there. That then caused problems for the medical staff.
"It was a terrible decision all-round to bring him in. It just wouldn't happen these days with the structure Liverpool have in place with a sporting director.
"I felt sorry for the lad because he was caught in the middle of it. He was put in a position he shouldn't have been put in.
"I'm not having this talk about the finances at the time or missing out on who we really wanted.
"Managers frequently don't get their first target. Look at Alex Ferguson. He missed out on Alan Shearer and signed Eric Cantona.
"If you couldn't replace him properly, then why sell Xabi? He was always going to want to go that summer with what happened the previous year with Gareth Barry.
"You've still got to spend the money you can spend wisely. All the lads were disappointed about Xabi leaving. He had been there a long time and he'd had a great last season for Liverpool."
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