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Rafa Benitez delighted to land 'winner' Johnson as Liverpool unveil 17m star
Published : 26 Jun 2009 17:09:40Rss feed
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has hailed Glen Johnson after the ?17million signing snubbed lucrative offers from Manchester City and Chelsea to head to Anfield. Johnson, who has signed a four-year deal after leaving Portsmouth, has been tempted with the offer of Champions League football as he targets a place in the England team for next summer's World Cup finals. Reds boss Benitez believes the former Chelsea right-back will be a huge success even though the price tag is inflated. 'We were thinking about bringing in players with quality - that's the first thing,' said Benitez. 'He is also English and that is important for the Champions League list. We were thinking about improving the team and Johnson is a very good player who will do that. 'He was important at Chelsea and in the last year at Portsmouth he has improved and is much better. One of the main things is his mentality - it's really good. 'He is a winner. I was impressed with the conversations I had with him. He wants to improve. We knew the market was going to be difficult this summer and some of it has been crazy. Manchester City and Chelsea were there - they were making offers. 'We had to be quick and the club acted quickly. It was down to the player whether he chose us or City or Chelsea and he chose us. It was very clear from talking to him that he wanted to play for Liverpool.' Benitez admits that Johnson's arrival could push Real Madrid target Alvaro Arbeloa out of the Anfield exit. 'Arbeloa was a good player for us last year,' he added. 'The thing is, he has one year left on his contract. 'We have offered him an extension and we're talking. He is our player but if there is a good offer we have to consider it. 'We have two or three clubs asking about him. He would like to stay but he knows the competition will be hard.'
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