Premier League champions Chelsea have recruited Israeli international midfielder Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool on a three year deal rumoured to be in the region of £5 million pounds.
Benayoun spent three years at the Merseyside club, having previously been with West Ham and Spanish club Racing Santander. On his move, Benayoun said, “I am very excited to come to a club like Chelsea, it is a big club and I think it is a dream for every player. Hopefully, we will be successful”.
Carlo Ancelotti is thrilled with the signing of Benayoun, as it bolsters his attacking options for the new season, following the release of Joe Cole and Michael Ballack. Ancelotti said, “Yossi has a lot of quality in midfield and can play in lots of positions. I like his behaviour on the pitch and he will do a great job for us next season.”
Benayoun made 172 appearances for the Reds and scored 37 goals. His time was heavily influenced by substitute appearances and he didn’t get a consistent run in the team under former manager Rafael Benitez. A spokesman for Liverpool F.C. quoted, “Everybody at Liverpool F.C. wishes him well for the future”.
In my opinion, this is an extremely good bit of business by Carlo Ancelotti, as he looks to retain the Premier League title. Benayoun is, in many ways, similar to Joe Cole in the way he can unlock defences and create play to supply Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. I think new manager Roy Hodgson will be extremely disappointed at the sale, because he would have loved to play Benayoun as a link-man alongside Steven Gerrard to Fernando Torres. Chelsea will now be dining at the top two table of English football, whilst Liverpool will have to live with the wide threat of Nabil El Zhar, Ryan Babel and Maxi Rodriguez as they try to regain their Champions League status.