Yossi Benayoun, the Israeli captain, who has spent nearly two and one-half years as a Red, truly needs to be recognized as one of the current elite players in the English Premier League.
Liverpool fans may think of this as an obvious comment, but if there is one player who does not get the respect that players like Reina, Gerrard and Torres get from the rest of the footballing world, sadly, it is Yossi.
Personally, I don’t know why, as he has certainly proved himself to the fans, and apparently to Rafa as well, who has had him as a regular on the pitch since the stretch run during the second half of last season. Something that in my humble opinion, should have occured much, much earlier.
According to Liverpoolfc.tv, this season, Benayoun has appeared in all nine of Liverpool’s Premier League matches, starting six. He has scored three goals in the league, as well. In three Champions League appearances, Benayoun has the one goal against Lyon.
For Israel, he has played in 10 matches during the World Cup Qualifying campaign, scoring three.
Roughly one goal every three games in all competitions? Benayoun should be in every starting lineup for the Reds, especially with this season’s thin squad.
Of course, if one just based his performance on goals, they would be foolish. The man is a playmaker. He has two assists so far this season, and is a dominant force in the midfield. If anyone has to give the ball to a midfielder in this squad that isn’t named Gerrard, I would be more than happy to see Benayoun take it and make the magic happen.
In a post-Xabi world, it should be expected for Yossi’s role to continue to increase, even with Alberto Aquilani nearing a return. Big things should be expected from number 15. He will deliver.