The former winger who made 407 appearances in a 10-year stint at Liverpool from 1987, fears owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett may have blundered by allowing Benitez to go with the squad in such poor shape.
He said: "I'd like to have seen Rafa stay. If it's true there's no money to spend then whoever comes in will have to work with this set of players.
"If Rafa had stayed I'm sure Liverpool would have finished better than seventh next season.
"But not even Jose Mourinho could win the league with this group of players.
"If there was money to spend you could think it's time for a new start. But if there isn't I can't see the point in changing the manager.
"The assumption is there is no money to spend so there will be no world-class players coming in. So we have to get on with it."