Benitez welcomes Kyrgiakos

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Rafael Benitez will unveil his new giant Greek signing on Saturday and hopes that it solves a massive problem for Liverpool.

Greece international Sotirios Kyrgiakos successfully completed his Liverpool medical on Friday and has joined the club on a two-year contract.

Benitez said: "He is a tough defender who is strong and good in the air. He has a strong character and we were looking for these things.

"He can score goals and will be a threat from corners and free-kicks. He is very strong in defence, but he will need time as always to settle into the Premier League. He will be a very good signing for us.

"We knew the player when he was with Rangers and we have been watching videos of him at Frankfurt and in the national team.

"We have talked about the things he has done before, and the things he will have to do for us. It was good. He knows what we want and he's ready to work."

He is likely to partner Jamie Carragher in the heart of the Reds' defence against Aston Villa, taking the place of teenager Daniel Ayala, who made his full debut in Wednesday's 4-0 win over Stoke.

Benitez has been searching for defensive cover for weeks, having looked at the likes of Ryan Shawcross and Michael Turner. He was also linked this week with West Ham's Matthew Upson.

But Liverpool's owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks are believed to have put the block on any further major signings, meaning that Benitez has had to search for the cheaper options.

He snapped up the AEK Athens stopper for £2m. Kyrgiakos, at 6ft 5in and with a striking similarity to Sebastien Chabal, the French rugby giant formerly with Sale, will certainly bring presence at Anfield.

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Michael Turner
Matthew Upson
Stoke City
Ryan Shawcross
Premier League
Aston Villa
Jamie Carragher

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