Benayoun pledges future to Liverpool

Israel captain agrees to stay at Anfield till 2013, will be one of highest paid players at club.

benayoun celebrates 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
benayoun celebrates 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Yossi Benayoun ended speculation regarding his future at Liverpool on Monday, signing a contract extension which will keep him at the Merseyside club until 2013. The 29-year-old Israel captain is set to earn in the region of £75,000 a week, making him one of the club's highest paid players. "I am very happy that we have reached an agreement," Benayoun told the club's official Web site. "Of course, to be at a club like this is a dream come true and I want to keep playing here. "Hopefully now I can concentrate on the hard work that needs to be done and try to play better and better and win some silverware." It was just six months ago that Benayoun was considering a move away from Liverpool after getting frustrated at not being able to hold down a regular place in the team's lineup. However, the midfield magician turned in superb performances on a weekly basis in the second half of the season and became a key player for the side, scoring critical goals for the team in both the Champions League and Premier League. "You know that our idea was to extend the contracts of some players and Yossi was one of these players," Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said. "He has been really good for us over the last year, scoring crucial goals and getting assists, so we wanted to keep him and I'm really pleased with the extension." Benayoun, who joined the club from West Ham United in the summer of 2007, scored nine goals in 42 games last season, appearing in all but three of Liverpool's final 16 games of the season. He had two years left on his previous deal, but has now been given an extra 12 months plus a wage rise to ensure he remains at Anfield in the coming seasons.