Benitez tips Sissoko
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rafa Benitez is tipping Mohamed Sissoko to become one of the Premiership's best.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is tipping the fit-again Mohamed Sissoko to become one of the best midfielders in The Premiership.
Sissoko made a starring return from a potentially serious eye injury against Birmingham in the FA Cup on Tuesday, producing a typically all-action display which laid the platform for The Reds' outstanding 7-0 success.
Benitez has now revealed his belief that Sissoko, who was sporting a pair of protective glasses after the Mali international's month-long absence, can also bring the best out of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso.
"He can become one of the best midfielders around. He is so good mentally and in terms of ability," said Benitez.
"Look at his performance on Tuesday. There were times when he was determined to make key tackles and he's always working for the whole game.
"When we have Momo, Xabi and Gerrard available, we have the right balance of skill and energy, pace and power. They bring the best qualities out of each other. When they're on the pitch together, we have everything you need in a midfield."
Benitez also revealed why Sissoko later discarded his eyewear, leading The Reds to breathe a sigh of relief when the player completed the full 90 minutes unscathed.
"Momo was training all week with the special glasses. But during the game they began steaming up, so he had more problems," added Benitez.
"He decided to take them off but wanted to continue playing. This shows how much courage the boy has.
"What pleased me most about Tuesday was seeing him playing again."