Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that he does not believe Joe Cole is as good tactically as Yossi Benayoun.
There were suggestions that Chelsea should have done more to keep Cole after he left Stamford Bridge at the end of last season when his contract expired.
Ancelotti accepts that Cole played a key role in the Blues' success during his time with the club but has now questioned the tactical aspect of his game.
Ancelotti believes Benayoun is stronger in this department, the Israeli having moved to Chelsea from Liverpool - Cole's new club.
The Blues manager does not believe the Reds have signed the better player and is backing Benayoun to be successful.
"I think Joe is a quicker player, but I think Yossi tactically is better," said Ancelotti.
"They are different players. Benayoun is Benayoun, Joe Cole is Joe Cole.
"People may say Liverpool have the better player but everyone can explain their own opinion. We are happy to have Yossi here.
"Joe Cole had a fantastic career at Chelsea but this year is another story.
"Yossi is very intelligent and tactically he thinks very well - he can play in different positions and will be a good player for us."