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Expect Yossi Benayoun to stick around for the rest of the season

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Chris McGrath

Well that match against Reading wasn't so fun. Two points were yet again dropped for no particular reason -- but something else happened as well. Specifically, Yossi Benayoun came on for Juan Mata in the 77th minute (the good old days, when Chelsea had a 2-0 lead and the Royals had zero shots all game).

Why is that interesting? Well, it means that Benayoun has now played for two sides this season, which is the maximum number allowed by FIFA regulations. The Israeli spent the first half of the season on loan at West Ham United, where he made six appearances in the league, and his 13-minute cameo at the Majdeski Stadium means he can now only play for the Hammers or for Chelsea.

And that means he's probably not going on loan again, unless West Ham decide they'd really like him back, a scenario that strikes me as unlikely. So, yay, we probably have Yossi Benayoun for a while again. He's a good enough replacement for Lucas Piazon while the youngster's at Malaga, one supposes... but introducing a player to the squad who really, really despises Rafa Benitez is probably not going to do positive things for morale.