Xabi Alondo
Could we one day see Alonso back in the red of Liverpool [Reuters]

Liverpool fans famously boasted that they had the 'best midfield in the world' back in the summer of 2006. The quartet of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Mohamad Sissoko played a crucial role in helping the club reach the Champions League final and achieve cult status.

While Gerrard has remained at the club, recently clocking up his 600<sup>th appearance and being heralded as one of the greatest players the club has ever produced, his midfield comrades have left for pastures new.

Yet, rumours in the press have today linked Alonso with a possible return to the Premier League. The Daily Mirror suggests that the Spanish midfielder is weighing up the option of leaving Real Madrid and coming back to England.

It would be a welcome return, with fans of every side in the Premier League sure to recognise the ability of a player who has won just about every trophy imaginable for both club and country. But could Liverpool convince him to come back to Anfield?

The current options in the heart of Liverpool's midfield certainly do not have the same passionate support from the Anfield faithful. Lucas Leiva and Gerrard aside, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Nuri Sahin are far from establishing themselves as Liverpool legends.

All three are relatively new to the club, but I am sure that if you asked any fervent Reds supporter if they would sacrifice all three for the return of Alonso then it would be a resounding yes.

The 30-year-old continues to talk about the glow in glowing terms and last year stated that he would never rule out the possibility of returning to his spiritual home on Merseyside.

"I have my red passion and if circumstances arrived then why not? 'At the moment I don't know what is going to happen, but it could be a possibility. Never say never."

Alonso also remains good friends with Gerrard and was recently asked to give his opinions on the captain reaching his landmark number of appearances.

"We are great friends and we still keep in touch," stated Alonso. "He was a great influence to me. When I arrived at Liverpool I was 22 and he was the captain, he was the main man at the club.

"For me he was a reference, the way he behaved with his teammates and with the supporters as well. I learned a lot from him.

"He'll absolutely be remembered as one of the greats. For me he is already one of the greats. His name and Liverpool's name will always be linked and he's a great representative of the club and the city."

Gerrard returned the compliment when he was asked in a Twitter Q&A with Adidas which player he would like to bring back to the club, saying: "Xabi Alonso - best midfielder I've played with, I miss playing with him."

The axis of Gerrard and Alonso made Liverpool the best side in Europe when they combined to help Rafa Benitez's side recover from 3-0 down to AC Milan to win an historic fifth European Cup.

There is little doubt that Liverpool fans and management would like to see the Baque midfielder return to the club. However, in their current state, struggling in the wrong half of the table, would Alonso really give up playing Champions League football and challenging for titles?

Having won the La Liga title, to add to his Champions League winners medal, there is little left for Alonso to achieve in the game. With his son Jon being raised as a Liverpool supporter then there is every reason for everyone involved in the club to believe.

Perhaps we could soon see half of the 'best midfield in the world' working in tandem once again.