The Slovakia international scored twice on Saturday and his coach admitted there are similarities between the midfielder and the Liverpool star
The 26-year-old netted either side of half-time to ensure the Naples outfit maintained their 100% start to the new season.
Hamsik opened his account for the season last week with two goals against Bologna, prompting Benitez draw comparisons between the Slovakia international and Gerrard, who he worked with during his time in charge of Liverpool.
"It's clear he's important to us, he makes room for the other offensive players," the Spaniard stated to reporters after the game.
"Is Hamsik to Napoli the equivalent of Gerrard to Liverpool? They are different, Hamsik doesn't have Gerrard's strength but more tactical intelligence.
"He is the strength of this team at this time."
Summer signing Gonzalo Higuain also struck at the Stadio Bentegodi and while defensive concerns were raised, Benitez maintained his satisfaction at the result.
"There were so many good things today. We controlled the game and made goals. You could see the team had character and wanted to win," he continued.
"A new defender? For us, it's important to work with who we have, then we'll see. Of course there were errors against a tactical opponent but our reaction and ideas were clear tonight."