Johnson can provide home comfort Liverpool need
It may well be, then, that the signing of the impressive, energetic Glen Johnson at full-back turns out to be a more significant bit of transfer business than the much criticised decision to sell Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.
With the arrival of Johnson, Liverpool have found an extra man who can torment well-packed defences and the evidence was there in the 4-0 win over Stoke City last week.
What a difference from the two goalless draws Liverpool had against The Potters last season, as Johnson scored one and provided another.
The England man needed no time to establish a good working partnership with the tireless Dirk Kuyt and make the fans see just why Benitez spent so much money to buy a right-back.
It might sound strange to say you can replace a midfield maestro with a defender but that is what Liverpool have done.
As they showed last season, getting the better of your direct rivals is not good enough to win the league — you have to beat just about every other team as well, and a player with Johnson’s aggression and ability to make things happen is going to make a big difference, I expect.
PHOTO: Liverpool’s Glen Johnson celebrates his goal against Stoke City during their Premier League soccer match at Anfield in Liverpool, August 19, 2009. REUTERS/Darren Staples