The Israeli has certainly made a positive contribution during his time at Anfield, with some notable achievements. Hat tricks in both the FA Cup and Champions League fond memories for the supporters and the player himself. His attacking instincts and ability to provide the craft and game intelligence, that at times can be lacking within the side, have made him well thought of amongst the fans. Admittedly though, he does seem to have stagnated somewhat, possibly given the struggles of last season. The Israeli may just benefit from a new challenge.
If Liverpool were on a sound financial footing than the loss of Benayoun may not be so discussed as it now might be. The difficulty for the supporters is the ongoing uncertainty over whether the club are going to be able to replace the players who leave with players of equal or improved ability, if any players at all. If Liverpool receive upwards of £6 million for the Israeli than ordinarily fans will accept the club’s decision and wish the player well, but only if replacements are going to be sought which will improve the squad. Joe Cole swap?
With Benitez having to accrue his transfer budget through player sales, Benayoun is one of only a handful of players that can bring in a fair amount of money without having to contemplate selling the established stars such as Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard. Offloading the likes of Yossi Benayoun, Albert Riera and Ryan Babel could raise around £20 million for the club, added to the sales of players with lesser value such as Degen. Ngog and El Zhar.
At first glance the interest of Chelsea for Benayoun appears a strange one. The Israeli will certainly not be a regular starter at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea seem rather to have recognised his usefulness as a squad player. With the departure of Joe Cole seeming more likely by the day, Chelsea see Benayoun as a cheaper alternative, willing to accept lower wages yet still possessing the playmaking abilities of the Englishman.
At times during his Liverpool career, Benayoun has clearly expressed his frustrations during periods spent out of the first eleven. This is something he will definitely experience if he makes the move to Stamford Bridge, making his desire for the move all the more surprising. Chelsea certainly have more options available to them than Liverpool do at this moment. Benayoun is a player who benefits greatly from a settled place in the side, thus able to find a rhythm to his play that allows him to retain a consistent standard. He may struggle to deal with the amount of playing time at Chelsea. However, one can understand Benayoun’s attraction of a move to the champions, the prospect of playing for a strong, successful team, and able to escape the turmoil and uncertainty at Anfield. For Chelsea, the deal is one worth pursuing. A transfer fee amounting to little more than loose change and investing in a player that certainly possesses the ability to make an impact.
As a mark of team strength, supporters and the media frequently like to discuss which players out of the top four sides would get into their rival’s teams. For Liverpool, all of the argument seemed to centre on Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina and Javier Mascherano. I don’t think Yossi Benayoun got many mentions…….what do we know.
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