x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Johnson a bargain at £17 million: Benitez

Liverpool's new full-back Glen Johnson will make his club debut in Switzerland today with boss Rafael Benitez insisting he is worth the money.

Liverpool's new £17 million (Dh101.7m) full-back Glen Johnson will make his club debut in Switzerland today with boss Rafael Benitez insisting he is worth the money. Johnson will play against St Gallen.in Liverpool's first pre-season friendly. Benitez, like Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, admits that the transfer market has gone mad this summer. "The market is crazy, but you must pay good money for good players," said the Spaniard. "The money for Johnson is OK. He is English, an international with quality and he is worth the money.

"He is a very good attacking player. If you try to buy a winger it can be £50m to £60m at current prices, but Johnson as an offensive full-back can give us more options. "He can be good for us, especially when we are at home and teams are defending against us. "Going forward he will give us something different, something special. He is a good addition for us." Benitez has 24 players at the club's Swiss training camp, and says: "We will try to use all the players. Our idea is to use one team in the first half and change it at half-time."

Transfer speculation still revolves around Liverpool's Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso, who is due to join up with the squad on Sunday after the friendly with Rapid Vienna in the Austrian capital. Despite Real Madrid's continued interest, Alonso is due to travel to the Far East with Liverpool for next week's two friendlies against Thailand and Singapore, and Benitez does not want to lose the midfielder.

Alonso has asked Benitez to allow him to join Real Madrid, but the Liverpool manager will not sell below £30m. * PA Sport