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Portsmouth boss Redknapp: Wenger convinced me about Benjani

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has revealed the influence of Arsenal's Arsene Wenger in getting Benjani Mwaruwari to the club.

The Zimbabwe struck a hat-trick in yesterday's 3-1 defeat of Derby and Redknapp said: "When he first came here two seasons ago he couldn't score to save his life but he's getting them now.

"His strike rate used to be diabolical and that's being kind to him. He had 15 or 16 games after we signed him before he scored against Wigan when Paul Jewell was manager there in the last but one match of the season.

"But he covered all that with hard work and non-stop running. He's a smashing lad and the fans love him.

"Today he scored three different types of goals and you'll struggle to see a better one than the last one. He's come up the hard way. He's hard as iron, takes a knock and plays with injuries that most players would not.

"It was (Arsenal boss) Arsene Wenger who first put me on to him. We'd heard Benjani was available in France at Auxerre and I asked Wenger's advice. He said I should get on the next flight and go and get him."

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