Liverpool have completed the signing of midfielder Mohamed Lamine Sissoko from Valencia for a fee believed to be in the region of £5m.

Sissoko, a 20-year-old Mali international who was born in France, was originally expected to join Liverpool’s city rivals Everton, until the European champions stepped in with an alternative offer.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez knows Sissoko well from his time as coach of Valencia. Sissoko said Benitez was the decisive factor in his decision to opt for Liverpool,

“He [Benitez} showed last season with Liverpool what a great manager he is and I want to be a part of this club’s future,” Sissoko said.

“I know all about the history and tradition of the club and I am honoured to be here.”

Sissoko will join his new team-mates when they head for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland later today. His arrival has strengthened Liverpool’s midfield options, according to Benitez.

“Over this season we might play 60 games and so all the players will get a chance,” Benitez conceded.

“Normally we will start with Stevie [Gerrard] and Xabi [Alonso], but if we play two games in a week then Momo can play.

“He is a young boy with the energy we need in midfield. He is a strong player, a good worker and has a great attitude.”