I talked about Yossi Benayoun making a re-appearance in the Chelsea blue before back in February, and back then 12% of you said let's reconsider in the summer. Now the Israeli's loan deal has expired at Arsenal, it seems like a good time to reconsider his role within the current squad.
Yossi's predominantly a creative player capable of playing on both flanks and down the middle. He was used mainly out on the left during his time at Liverpool, although he was perfectly capable of shifting to the right, where on both sides his job was to supply a certain Fernando Torres. He did so very well, striking up a good relationship with the Spaniard. While Benayoun is on the wrong side of thirty, given the ambition of Chelsea to overhaul their side to a more dynamic, young outfit, he remains a decent player with a bit to offer, as seen in his enlarged role during Arsenal's Premiership run in. Wenger favoured using him on the left flank to balance the attacking three, freeing up Theo Walcott on the right while retaining a technically adept player to allow his side to retain possession easier. He went on to play a big part in crucial wins, including the victories over Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Speaking of which, you do sort of have to question the club's decision making to send one of our rejects to a major rival, allowing him to play a key role in helping Arsenal finish ahead of Chelsea.
Furthermore, now Chelsea have confirmed they are letting Salomon Kalou depart, they are seriously pressed for depth on the flanks, particularly, defensively minded wide players. Benayoun's not great, but he's more tactically aware than any other options in the Chelsea squad, and certainly more aware than any mooted targets such as Hazard or Hulk.
With this in mind, and remembering we're not entirely sure on what the player's intentions are at this moment - he had hinted at wanting to move away from Chelsea, but that was more media spin than anything else - this is yet another piece of business the club will need to sort out during the summer. As you may have gathered from my repeated discussions, I'm a fan of bringing him back into the squad, but what do people see in the future of Yossi Benayoun?