Reds complete deal for Argentine

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Liverpool have completed the formalities of Gabriel Paletta's switch to Anfield.

The 20-year-old Argentine, who joins The Reds from Banfield, put pen-to-paper on a four-year contract to end Rafa Benitez's pursuit of the player.

Paletta agreed a deal with Liverpool last February, with the transfer awaiting the rubberstamp this summer.

Benitez beat off stiff competition to land the player, who the Spaniard believes has all the hallmarks of a budding Roberto Ayala.

"Paletta is very tough and he's exactly the sort of player we need who will suit The Premiership," Benitez told the club's official website.

"When you talk about the Argentinian defenders I worked with in Valencia, Paletta is more like Ayala than Pellegrino.

"If you're talking about Liverpool, he's more like Carragher than Sami Hyypia. This is good because we will have a balance in the style of defenders. 

"He is a defender with a lot of aggression and we're sure he has a great future. He will learn a lot here, like Daniel Agger, and provide competitiveness in our defence."

Benitez admits Liverpool had to act quickly to sign Paletta, with River Plate registering a firm interest earlier in the year.

"He has attracted a lot of interest from top clubs in Argentina like River Plate and Boca Juniors. River Plate even reserved a number six shirt for him, so we had to move quickly to sign him. We're delighted to have done the deal now," added Benitez.