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Rafa baffled by Diao
15 Sep 2006 - 12:00:12
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez cannot understand why Salif Diao turned down the chance to seal a loan move to Spanish side Recreativo de Huelva.
The 29-year-old Senegal midfielder had the chance to join Florent Sinama-Pongolle at the La Liga side but opted to stay at Anfield instead.
However, his first-team chances at Liverpool seem extremely limited as Benitez has not included the former AS Monaco and Sedan player in his squad since January 2005.
"I was talking with Recreativo and everything was almost done but then at the last minute things changed," said the Reds boss.
"Sometimes it depends on the people around the players and if they have good advice or bad advice or bad advisors.
"In this case I think that, as a player, the most important thing is to play. If you don't play, you cannot show other people what you can do.
"He is fit, he is training. He is a very good professional but, without games, teams won't see this. We will see how we can use Salif and it's a possibility he can play for the reserves.
"But we have young players in the reserves. If it's between using young players and a senior one, I would say use the young."
Diao, who has spent time on loan with Birmingham City and Portsmouth in the last 18 months, has started 35 games for the Reds since moving to Merseyside after the 2002 World Cup.