Rafa Benitez opens up on Wijnaldum & Sissoko


"The fans they know that they are both good players. It depends on the environment, it depends on the moment, it depends on the situation of each player. You can't blame anyone, you can't blame the club, you can't blame me, you can't blame anyone because they wanted to go because they had offers - good offers - and they wanted to stay in the Premier League.

“It is not fair for me to talk only about Sissoko but he is in the final and I am really pleased. I am still in contact with him and Gini. They were good players for us but we were relegated and they had offers. Sometimes players do not get offers when they are relegated. They did and I am telling you Sissoko had three very good ones, including one very important one. That is good for them because you go down and have top sides interested in you. Maybe they were not fine here because the team was not doing well. But they have the skill and the pace. You cannot complain or say anything negative about what they did here.

"You think about one thing, who was the captain for us at this time? Sissoko. I made him the captain because he was a really good professional who kept everybody working hard. I understand the feelings of some fans who see them playing well or badly, that's one thing, but both players were good professionals. If you play in a very good team, it's easy. You will play better in this team. It's very clear that with better players around, some players will be better, and you can't question the level of Spurs or Liverpool.

"Consistency normally means a good team, it depends on one player sometimes, but these lads were good professionals and good workers. Sissoko had some problems at the beginning but he's a good pro and he's continued to grow. With Sissoko's characteristics, you can see he is very powerful, has the pace and brings a lot. In this Tottenham team, with all these players around him, he is now a key player for them.

"For us, the best game he played for us was against Spurs. That was in a 4-3-3 as one of the midfielders. He sometimes played as a winger for us but he is not a proper winger. He has pace but not the crossing ability. In the middle of 4-3-3, he was doing really well for us. Now he is playing in a 4-2-3-1 and doing well because he is learning and more mature. He is someone who is keen to learn and follow the instructions of his manager.”

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