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Rafa: Mascherano is ready
23 Feb 2007 - 09:16:28
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is confident that new signing Javier Mascherano will prove his worth at Anfield, despite struggling to make an impact at West Ham United in the first half of the season.
The 24-year-old Argentina midfielder was an unused sub for the 2-1 Champions League success in Barcelona, but Benitez is ready to pitch Mascherano into the action sooner rather than later.
He said: "He plays for one of the best national teams in the world, he needs to play, which he wasn't at West Ham.
"Maybe the first six months in England were difficult because of the language. But he has spent six months learning English and he is with us with Spanish staff and players, I feel we will see the best of him now.
"He now knows more about the Premier League and he can progress here.
"He has character and experience, he played in the World Cup and has been watched by a lot of big clubs. Now he will have the chance to show people in England he is a good player.
"He has not played for a long time, but he is fit and has been training with us for a few weeks. All he needs is match fitness now.
"He has quality and a good mentality and understands the difficulties of the Premiership. He will be ready soon."