Federico Fernandez praises Rafael Benitez management

Fernandez praises Benitez management
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Swansea defender Federico Fernandez praises Rafael Benitez for inadvertently preparing him for life in the Premier League at Napoli last season.

Swansea City defender Federico Fernandez has thanked Rafael Benitez for giving him the tools to cope with the rigours of the Premier League.

The Argentine broke into the Napoli side under Benitez last season, making 25 league appearances as the Partenopei finished third in Serie A.

He sealed a £7m switch to the Liberty Stadium last month, and the 25-year-old believes that the Spaniard - who has previously managed Liverpool and Chelsea - gave him the skills to flourish in England's top flight.

"I already had the idea of playing in the Premier League, and when this interesting possibility arrived, Napoli and I found an agreement with absolute serenity," he told Il Mattino. "I was feeling good at Napoli, but the Premier League is attractive and is a fantastic league.

"The development I had under Benitez allowed me to move to the Premier League. Here football is different to Serie A.

"I appreciate Rafa a lot, and he sent me a good message when I joined Swansea. I thank him because he allowed me to grow. Last season he put faith in me and I learnt a lot. It prepared me for the Premier League."

Fernandez could make his debut when the Swans face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Rafael Benitez head coach of Napoli during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off first leg match between SSC Napoli and Athletic Club on August 19, 2014
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