Sport Soccer

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Benayoun happy to play waiting game at Bridge

Ben Rumsby

Yossi Benayoun insists he is happy to wait for his first Chelsea start following a hat-trick of substitute appearances for his new club.

Israel midfielder Benayoun (30) has yet to make his full debut for the Blues after joining them from Liverpool in the summer.

But he staked a claim for a starting berth by scoring his first Chelsea goal after coming on in Saturday's 6-0 drubbing of Wigan.

Benayoun claims his current bit-part role is no different from the one he played during his early Liverpool career and he is confident of proving himself at Stamford Bridge, just as he did at Anfield. He said: "I know I can do it; I did it before in my career.

"When I arrived at Liverpool, I knew I had to wait on the bench and try to change games and now I'm also doing it for Chelsea.

"When you come to a big club you need to be patient, there are a lot of quality players, but I just want to prove that I deserve to be here every chance that I get.

"I enjoy playing anywhere and every minute I am on the pitch. I can play anywhere in the three in midfield or the three up front."

Benayoun has played barely an hour of first-team football for his new club and scored just 11 minutes after coming on at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

"It's always a good feeling to get your first goal for a new club, but the most important thing was the win," said Benayoun. "To win 6-0 has lifted the confidence of the team. It was very difficult at first. We know what to expect from the Premier League and knew after Wigan lost 4-0 to Blackpool, they would be ready to fight.

"But we are a strong team with a lot of character and quality. We will win a lot of games."

Chelsea have enjoyed a perfect start to their defence of the Premier League title, scoring six goals in each of their opening two games.

They have also kept two clean sheets after conceding 10 times in their last four pre-season games. And it is the latter statistic that has particularly pleased defender Alex.

He said: "It is a very important thing. We worked very hard in pre-season training on our defending and now you can see the result." Meanwhile, Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem are expecting to sign Chelsea youngsters Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic on loan.

Rajkovic has yet to make his first-team debut for the Blues, while Matic has made two Premier League substitute appearances.

Serbian defender Rajkovic has already had two loan spells in Holland, having played for both PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente.

Vitesse's new owner, Merab Jordania, claims the pair will join his club before the transfer window closes.

"Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic? Yes, they will come," Jordania said. A third Chelsea youngster, midfielder Jacob Mellis, is also being linked with Vitesse.

Irish Independent

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