Why Rafa Benitez is definitely in it for the long haul at Liverpool
Rafa Benitez said he would quit Liverpool if Fernando Torres is sold. The Spanish striker could have been sold last summer to Manchester City if Benitez had accepted their offer – and there will no doubt be more enquiries coming in for Torres until the day he does actually leave.
But what is remarkable about the offer made to Liverpool last summer is the scale of the City bid: £70million for Torres plus and additional £30million for Javier Mascherano. Benitez rejected both offers from Mark Hughes – but I wonder if those Liverpool fans clamouring for some headline grabbing transfer activity and the thrill of purchasing the likes of Ribery, Villa and Silva would have preferred Benitez to say yes?
In rejecting those bids in the summer, Benitez stuck with proven Premier League performers who are guaranteed to succeed, ahead of the instant impact of glamorous summer transfer activity: which in my opinion, was absolutely the right thing to do.
If anyone should question Benitez’s commitment after making that comment about leaving Liverpool – then they should know this. Rafa Benitez turned down the opportunity to take over at Real Madrid in the summer for the FOURTH time since he has been at Anfield.
Benitez rejected a package worth €6million per year over a four-year deal and a transfer budget that a manager’s dreams are made of. The reason he rejected Real Madrid? Rafa believes that he is in the middle of a major project at Anfield, one that so far hasn’t reaped the rewards he expected, but is clearly a work in progress and he has faith in its ultimate success.
The aim is not to bring one league title to Anfield, but a succession of them and an era of Liverpool challenging for all major titles for years to come…
Gulliem Balague's column appears in association with www.icons.com