Benitez said: “If you analyse his two performances so far he has played very well. He is good at both keeping possession, tackling and fighting to get the ball back. We’re sure he’s going to be a really good player for us.
“He is someone who not only passes well, but he always arrives to the play to support team-mates and give a good option to their passing.
“We don’t have a lot of these type of player. Only Xabi can play in this holding role. Momo and Gerrard like to go forward a lot more, so it’s important for the balance to have someone like Mascherano.”