Serie A news

Benitez: Milito drought like Crouch's at Liverpool

September 20, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Inter Milan boss Rafa Benitez has backed misfiring striker Diego Milito to end his goal drought, and compared the Argentina frontman's profligate start to the season to that of former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch when he first arrived at Anfield.

Diego Milito woe Inter Milan
GettyImagesDiego Milito is without a goal for Inter in five games this season

After netting 30 times in all competitions last season, including six goals in the Champions League, Milito has struggled at the start of the campaign.

The reigning UEFA Striker of the Year has been substituted in each of Inter's Serie A games this season, and also in the Champions League draw with FC Twente.

And after coming off in the Nerazuuri's 2-1 victory over Palermo, he was seen asking "why I am always the one to come off?".

But Benitez played down any reports of a rift and stressed that he believes Milito will return to goalscoring form, just like England striker Crouch did after a difficult start to life under Benitez at Liverpool in 2005.

"Milito played a fantastic game, one full of all things that a striker must do to make his team play well," Benitez said. "He only lacked a goal, but one will arrive soon enough.

"I have spoken with him and I am angry with Diego only because he is angry with himself. He mustn't be concerned with not scoring. He must think about the great job that he has done for the team.

"It has already happened to me once that a striker wasn't scoring: it was Peter Crouch who we signed for Liverpool from Southampton. Then he got off the mark and we were criticised when we sold him.

"For us, Milito is very important and he showed it in his movement for Eto'o's equaliser. He will score many goals very soon. We spoke a few minutes ago and I have reiterated my confidence in him."