Rafa expects Ngog to shine
Reds boss believes striker can be a key player for years to come
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: March 8, 2009 10:36am
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has backed teenage striker David Ngog to be a success at Anfield for years to come.
The 19-year-old marked his first league start for the club since joining from PSG last summer with a goal in Tuesday's 2-0 win at home to Sunderland.
The French ace put in an assured display and had the confidence to entertain the home crowd with his trickery at certain parts in the win.
With Robbie Keane returning to Tottenham in the transfer window, and fellow striker Fernando Torres sidelined with an ankle injury, Ngog could find more opportunities present themselves in the second half of the season.
"I am really pleased because he is training very well, working really hard and showing his quality," Benitez told the club's official website.
"To see him playing in this game and scoring his first league goal is good for him and good for the team.
"All the players, especially the strikers, need to play well and score goals for the confidence, so I think the goal will be important for his future.
"He showed the fans that he can do really good things.
"He worked very hard and did good things in attack, good passes and tricks. I'm very pleased for him.
"The first year in the Premier League is always difficult, but even more so for a young player coming from France because it is more physical here.
"But he's learning and improving every day. He has got the potential to be a very good player for us.
"If he keeps working and improving as he is now, he can be an important player for Liverpool."