After enduring a difficult first year with Chelsea, Yossi Benayoun swapped the blue for red and was shipped out on loan to Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
Many onlookers raised their eyebrows about the move, and pondered whether the Israeli could really add anything to the Gunners quality.
It started slow for Benayoun and he didn’t get too much of a look-in for the first half of the campaign but was a key player when it came to the business end of the season.
He made his debut against Swansea City, coming on as a second-half substitute on September 10, and scored his first goal for the club just ten days later in the League Cup against Shrewsbury Town.
The Israeli also scored a belter at Olympiakos in the Champions League before going on to captain the side against Manchester City in the club’s 1-0 League Cup defeat; proving his reliability and showing his experience.
After this slow start, Benayoun’s campaign soon picked up, and he earned himself many plaudits with some of his performances.
Benayoun was the captain of his country and offered the team some leadership and experience and was one of the stars in Arsenal’s 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The 32-year-old made a name for himself with his tireless performances, and his touch of class in the final third.
He also had a decent shot on him, and netted a brilliant opener at home to Norwich City in the penultimate game of the season.
He scored some vital goals as well.
He got a late winner at Villa Park and the key first goal on the final day of the season at West Bromwich Albion.
When subbed off he was often given a standing ovation from the Arsenal faithful, who fully appreciated his superb work rate.
It is looking unlikely that we will ever see the Israeli in an Arsenal shirt again, but Benayoun gave his all and eventually ended the campaign strongly.
Let’s hope the Chelsea man has had his zma this summer, or the former Hammer could see himself warming the bench for yet another season.
Matt Cotton @FindingCotton