When Arsene Wenger was under pressure to buy big names after Arsenal’s abysmal start to the season many were shocked, and some disappointed, when Israeli playmaker Yossi Benayoun joined the ranks at the Emirates.
The former Liverpool and West Ham player is on loan from London rivals Chelsea and has proved some of the doubters wrong, but there are still many who feel the FA Cup winner does not have what it takes to be an Arsenal player for the long term.
He featured for the 20th time this season against Manchester City and every time he has started a Premier League game for Arsenal, the Gunners have never lost.
Some may feel at 31 his best days are behind him, but he put another good performance against the Citizens on Sunday both going forward and tracking back, and alongside Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott and the majority of the Arsenal side, he has improved as the season has gone on.
Benayoun arrived in England aged 25 joining West Ham and became an integral part of the side that avoided the drop in 2007, before joining Liverpool where he managed 25 goals in just under three years before returning to London this team with Chelsea.
He did not really get much of a chance in his 12 months at Stamford Bridge starting just one Premier League game and that is when Wenger took the gamble on Benayoun by bringing him to North London.
For me he is not given enough of a chance at Arsenal but I think he will play a big part next season through his versatility and he is one of those players who tends not to really ever have a “shocker” he may not score every team he plays but he is a worker.
Standing at just 5ft 8in and with his silky footwork Benayoun’s best position is playing through the middle just behind the striker.
But he offers more than that, if need be he can play on either wing and has the ability to play as a striker, he is a typical Wenger player and with a lack of strength in depth in midfield, on the wing and up front do not be surprised to see Benayoun make a permanent move to the Gunners.