Benitez praise for Arbeloa
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rafa Benitez has praised Alvaro Arbeloa for the way he has slotted into the Liverpool side.
Rafa Benitez has praised the way in which January signing Alvaro Arbeloa has slotted into the Liverpool side.
Though the Spanish defender has made just one substitute appearance in the Premiership since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna, he started both UEFA Champions League games against Barcelona.
Arbeloa played at left-back in both matches as The Reds booked a quarter-final date with PSV Eindhoven in early April.
Normally at home on the right, or in the centre, the stopper's ability to rise to the challenge has impressed his new boss Benitez.
The Liverpool chief feels Arbeloa has followed the example of Dirk Kuyt, who was quick to establish himself in the team after joining from Feyenoord last summer.
"It's never easy for a new player to settle immediately and it's even more difficult if someone comes from another country and doesn't speak the language," Benitez told the club's official website.
"It is always a sign of qualify if someone can come into the side and play well straight away.
"We saw this earlier in the season with Kuyt, who did well as soon as he joined us.
"Now Arbeloa has joined the club and played at a good level against Barcelona.
"That will help his confidence as he looks to improve even more at Liverpool."