Rafa des­per­ate to beef up squad

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

LIVER­POOL man­ager Rafa Ben­itez wants to strengthen the squad fur­ther in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow amid an in­jury cri­sis.

Af­ter sign­ing Ar­gentina winger Maxi Ro­driguez on Wed­nes­day, Liver­pool lost Fer­nando Tor­res, Steven Ger­rard and Yossi Be­nay­oun to in­juries af­ter a de­feat against sec­ond-tier Read­ing in the FA Cup.

Tor­res re­quires surgery on his right knee that will side­line the striker for six weeks.

“We are still work­ing hard to find good play­ers,” Ben­itez said yes­ter­day. “In this mar­ket it is very dif­fi­cult but we have to keep looking to see if we can find some­one.

“It’s now the own­ers’ turn. They have to sign play­ers so that this does not hap­pen again. If we want to com­pete we need a much more com­plete squad. We need more gen­uinely first-class play­ers and we can’t let our best play­ers leave.”

Goal­keeper Pepe Reina could re­turn from in­jury to­day at Stoke while Ryan Ba­bel’s fu­ture looks to be in doubt af­ter he was left out of the squad for to­day’s match .

Ben­itez made the de­ci­sion de­spite the club’s in­jury cri­sis.

On his Twit­ter ac­count, Ba­bel said he “got some dis­ap­point­ing news” and that “The Boss left me out the squad. No ex­pla­na­tion.”

Ba­bel says he has never had an ar­gu­ment or fight with Ben­itez, and he ques­tioned why the Spa­niard no longer be­lieves he can do a job for Liver­pool.– Sapa-AP

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