the unanswered question that we've been debating for some time now: will we keep christian benitez or will we let him go? when we were interested in him in the summer, it was reported that we would pay 12 million - which would of been our record transfer fee - for the little ecuadorian. however, an unforeseen knee problem made it so we only came on loan for the season, with the option to buy him at the end of the season. we were told he was an exciting prospect, that he would bring us goals, etc. but unfortunately he has failed to deliver, which is why the question is constantly being asked; stay or go?
hailed as being "just like messi" by his agent, christian benitez has pretty much been anything but this season. his goal scoring touch has been so-so, with no home goals and only four away goals to his name this season, however he has a knack of creating them: he has been key in various goals this season, especially in our unbeaten run, assisting goals such as lee bowyer's away at wolves, and being involved in the impressive move against blackburn to set up another lee bowyer goal.
he was blooded into the team, and the premier league, near the start of the season, and started every game in our unbeaten run. he was dropped to the bench after the wolves game when he suffered a head injury, and since then blues have only two one games - portsmouth away and wigan at home (the latter being courtesy of a penalty) - now, i'm not saying we've only won those two games because we didn't have him in the side, after all, we've had a very tough run of fixtures for example sunderland and manchester city away, and arsenal and liverpool at home. but, it is quite obvious we have been missing something when he is not in the team. and maybe he is that little something we need.
when chucho has been in the team..
Played 20 Won 10 Drew 7 Lost 3
when chucho hasn't been in the team..
Played 15 Won 2 Drew 4 Lost 9
and as the saying goes 'the facts pretty much speak for themselves.' and they really do.
okay, i know what you're thinking, he does has as many negatives as positives: he is lightweight - i can't count the number of times i've seen him dispossessed by a defender, or how many times he has needlessly gone to ground. he overdoes it - he takes it too far and doesn't get a shot off soon enough, and loses the ball as a consequence. and, when his shooting - it's, more often than not, straight at the keeper. BUT: when he plays, we have a little, skillful player that defenders are scared of. plus, facts don't lie: we create and score more with him in the team, you can't argue with that. he has created and been involved in many goals this season, then when he's out of the team, the goals dry up abit, we don't create as much.. now i don't think i'm the only one that sees this as just a coincidence. i honestly believe he brings something to the team.
mcleish has ruled out another season-long loan for him, and as he isn't playing at the moment when he really deserves a chance (take hull at home, for example) it looks as if we've probably seen the last of him, but that is mcleish's decision. if he has seen someone else who is worth the money, then great. bye bye chucho. however, i really think he needs to look at when benitez has done this season and what he has brought to the team. with only three games left and the fans eagar to see if he has anything left that could save his blues future, i believe chucho should feature in at least one of those games, after all, i think he deserves a 'one last chance' sort of thing; because two years from now i don't want to look at him and think 'we should never've let him go' because trust me, we've done that before.