Friday, February 22, 2008


Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson can scarcely believe his luck at landing a striker of the quality of Benjani Mwaruwari.

Eriksson signed the Zimbabwean for an initial #3.87million on the final day of the January transfer window after Portsmouth surprisingly decided to sell.

The 29-year-old was shocked himself that Pompey were prepared to let him go but he threw himself wholeheartedly into his new challenge and made himself an instant City hero.

He could not have hoped for a better debut than to score in the club's first derby victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford since 1974 with a deft header. It was his 13th goal of the season.

Eriksson said: "Of course I knew about him. You know if you work in the Premier League, if you follow top scorers.

"But to be honest, it was very late. I couldn't dream that he was available.

"Suddenly, I got a phone call 24 hours before it closed. Of course we took him because I thought that was what we needed, the perfect player for us.

"He is big, strong, scoring goals, with pace, good technique. It was a surprise for me but I am very happy he is here."

Benjani has added to the competition for places at City in what is now looking a strong squad for of the Barclays Premier League run-in.

Eriksson is impressed with how he has hit the ground running.

"It looks like he has been here for years," the Swede said. "He was fantastic in training yesterday.

"I don't know how many goals he scored - I asked him and he didn't know. He is very good. I think he is a player we needed."

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