The Newcastle United star credits the Spanish boss with reviving his England career but admitted his own next move is some way off being decided.
Newcastle United and England winger Andros Townsend has told reporters at a press conference with the national team, as quoted by the Chronicle, that although he would love Rafael Benitez to stay at St. James' Park, he needs to have a discussion with the club about his own future.
Townsend has been one of the brightest sparks for the Magpies in the latter half of a hugely disappointing campaign, and looked a transformed man under Benitez.
Signed from Tottenham Hotspur for £12 million in the January transfer window, the 24-year-old quickly went from fringe player at White Hart Lane to key man on Tyneside.
Though he had already begun to impress under Steve McClaren, scoring Newcastle's consolation in a 5-1 thrashing at Chelsea, it was under Benitez that Townsend began to thrive, and scored three goals and contributed two assists in his 10 appearances under the Spanish boss.
The winger, who has also earned a recall to the England picture and was named in the preliminary squad for Euro 2016, said that he hopes Benitez stays at the club but admitted his own future is more up in the air.
Townsend told an England press conference, as quoted by the Chronicle: "Of course I hope he stays, that’s no secret. Ever since he came to the club there was an upturn in my form, from day one.
"He’s been very hands-on with me, telling me how I can take my game to the next level and he’s been a huge help getting me where I am today, back in an England shirt. I’m extremely grateful and hopefully he can sign on for a few more years.
"For the time being I am focusing on England. If I don’t make the squad or if I do, whenever my international duty ends then I’ll sit down with the club and see where we go from there."
Newcastle fans will likely be desperate to see one of their brightest stars of recent months remain with the club for the Championship effort next season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dutch utility player Vurnon Anita have already verbally committed their immediate futures to the club, but any stay for Townsend may depend on both Benitez and whether or not the relegated club can now afford to pay the wages he was handed when he signed a five-and-a-half-year contract just four months ago.