Israel international midfielder and national team captain YOSSI BENAYOUN is off to London and will wear the blue shirt of FC Chelsea in the Premier League this coming 2010-11 football season. (Getty Images/dailymail.co.uk)
Israel’s most high-profile player has become the first summer signing for English powerhouse FC Chelsea, the reigning Premier League as well as prestigous FA Cup champions.
FC Liverpool, who are 237 million English pounds in debt to the Royal Bank of Scotland, have sold Israeli midfielder YOSSI BENAYOUN to the London club for a reported fee of 5.5 million English pounds; the 30-year-old will look to secure a regular place in the Chelsea midfield that has been depleted since the departure of German international MICHAEL BALLACK.
The Telegraph.co.uk reports that Benayoun salary is set at 75,000 Englsih pounds per week for a three-year playing contract.
Benayoun, who has won 78 caps (20 goals) for Israel, has been in England since West Ham United sent Spanish club Racing Santander 2.5 million English pounds in the summer of 2005.
Benayoun, who cut his teeth at eleven-time Israeli titlist Maccabi Haifa, spent the last three seasons with Liverpool and scored a very respectable 18 goals in 92 Premier League appearances (55 starts) and a further nine goals in 27 Cup ties. The Israeli national team captain was, however, in spite of the goal-scoring production, forever unable to secure a full-time position at Anfield under the now-departed Spanish coach RAFAEL BENITEZ.