'He's a top-class manager' - Hamann backs Benitez for Chelsea job

The former Liverpool midfielder says the Spaniard should replace Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, insisting the 52-year-old can get the best out of Fernando Torres
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has backed Rafael Benitez as the outstanding candidate for the Chelsea job following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

The Italian was given his marching orders after Tuesday night's defeat to Juventus in the Champions League and, as Goal.com revealed on Wednesday morning, the London club's hierarchy are already looking to appoint the Spaniard on a short-term deal.

And Hamann, who won the Champions League and FA Cup under Benitez during his time at Anfield, believes the 52-year-old could be a success at Stamford Bridge.

“He’s a top-class manager with a fantastic track record,” Hamann told talkSPORT.

“When you look what he’s done in Spain, he’s the last person to win the La Liga title from Barcelona and Real Madrid, and he won the Uefa Cup there.

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“He had very good success at Liverpool and only the Premier League title eluded him.

“If you look at his record, automatically he will have the respect of his players for what he’s done in the past. So, I don’t see any issues there.

“Yes, it is a powerful dressing room but maybe not as powerful as it was with Didier Drobga and Nicolas Anelka leaving.

“But he’s got the capabilities. He’s worked with the best players in the world over the past 10-12 years, and I don’t see any issues whatsoever.”

Benitez brought Fernando Torres to Anfield in a £20 million deal back in 2007, with the former Atlético Madrid striker scoring 56 goals in 79 appearances under the Spanish manager.

However, since leaving the Reds in January 2011 in a £50m deadline day deal, Torres has failed to recapture his Liverpool form, only scoring 19 goals in 86 games.

But Hamann believes the former Valencia coach could help turn the 28-year-old's career at Chelsea around if he were to succeed Di Matteo.

“I don’t know what the reasons are that Torres isn’t performing to the level he used to,” he added.

“But Benítez brought Torres to Liverpool and it was his most successful spell.

“If Rafa can rekindle that, it will help Chelsea a great deal.”