Barnes: Benitez should splash out on Silva

Former Anfield wing wizard John Barnes has urged Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez to splash out on Valencia wide man David Silva.

Big-money stars such as Carlos Tevez, Kaka and Samuel Eto’o have been linked with the Merseysiders, but Barnes believes Silva would be the shrewdest acquisition of the summer.

“A move for David Silva would be more realistic especially with Rafa Benitez’s Spanish and club connection with Valencia," he said.

“For me, the player would be a great signing as he is highly creative, gets goals and offers great attacking options to the team.

“A move for him would certainly make more sense than a lot of the names being spoken about.”

Silva, who played a starring role in Spain’s Euro 2008 success, is likely to be sold as the club looks to the balance the books.

Valencia are heavily in debt and several summer sales are expected at Benitez's former club, with Spain striker and current FourFourTwo cover star David Villa attracting the most attention.

However, Villa is coveted by some of the richest clubs on the planet, and with Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all heavily linked with the forward, Benitez may choose not to enter a bidding war for Villa.

And Barnes is convinced Liverpool need to do all they can to make diminutive winger Silva the latest member of their Spanish faction.

“Silva’s versatility would appeal, as he can play on either flank or in the hole currently held by Steven Gerrard," he said.

“We also know he has a decent understanding with Fernando Torres from the Spanish national team so would make a great acquisition to an ever improving squad.”

Although Liverpool have challenged Manchester United for the Premier League title this season, Barnes believes Benitez needs to strengthen the squad with big game, experienced players if he wants to push United even further next term.

“Liverpool are the closest to United but could do with strengthening a few key areas,” he said.

“Not youngsters but players that could go straight into the team and do a job.

“The full-back area could definitely do with improvement and then there’s the lack of depth up front. For me, Steven Gerrard is not really a forward so another option is needed.”

John Barnes is a pundit for The New Football Pools who is offering anyone who plays Premier 10 the chance to get two out of their 10 predictions wrong and still win a cash prize.

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