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Torres move is wise, says goalscoring legend Rush

Torres move is wise, says goalscoring legend Rush

Jun 30 2007

by Mark Currie, Liverpool Daily Post

LIVERPOOL legend Ian Rush is backing the judgement of Rafael Benitez as he prepares to make Fernando Torres the next addition to his forward line.

Benitez will break the Liverpool club record fee to capture the signature of the 23-year-old Atletico Madrid captain, despite some hard bargaining over the £27million asking price demanded by the La Liga club.

However, Rush believes it could be money well spent as Benitez continues his efforts to transform the Anfield outfit into genuine Premiership title contenders.

“It’s a lot of money but Torres is a quality player,” said the ex-Anfield goalscorer. “His goalscoring record is not the best, but he’s the sort of player Liverpool need to strengthen their squad.

“Manchester United have been in the transfer market already and it’s important Liverpool do the same.

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“Benitez obviously knows more about Torres than those of us who have only seen him on television and we have to rely on his judgement – which has generally been spot-on in terms of the people he has signed.

“Making a judgement and standing by it is part and parcel of being a manager and I hope the deal goes through because he is a left-footed player, which is what is needed.”

Torres, who scored 14 goals last season, would have to make an almost immediate impact on the Premiership in order to justify such a huge fee, but Rush says the Spanish influence at Anfield would make it easier to settle in straight away.

And Torres, who in the past has been linked with moves to both United and Chelsea, is known to be keen to work with Benitez.

“Foreign players either live up to their reputation in the Premiership or they don’t,” added Rush. “It’s as much about mental attitude as anything and I’m sure Benitez knows what sort of character the lad is.

“And you can be sure Torres has spoken to the other Spanish players at Liverpool about what he can expect if he comes over here, so it might not be as big a problem for him as for others.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool this week confirmed that former Ajax player Piet Hamberg has been appointed as the club’s new Academy technical manager following the retirement of Steve Heighway.

And Rush admitted Heighway would be a hard act to follow after the Liverpool team successfully defended the FA Youth Cup last season.

“Steve did a great job there, but things change and move on,” he said. “I don’t know much about him but the new man has an impressive CV so he must be more than capable of doing the job, which is all about developing players.

“Ajax were the club that set the standards for everyone else on youth development.”


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