Diame has been utilised in an attacking midfield role at times this season, but he has also played in front of the defence.
Newcastle have used Diame in a more defensive role recently, and Benitez claims that the 30-year-old isn't a usual number 10, like some fans believe he is.
“He’s not a proper number 10, like some people think, a small one that can turn,” Benitez said.
“He has more physicality and he was playing as a midfielder in the Championship. He was more a number 10. He did well.
"In the Premier League, he’s more a midfielder. When he was playing in Spain he was playing as a holding midfielder. I knew that. [Against Burnley last week], we needed him there, and he did well because he knows the role.”
Diame has begun to turn things around at Newcastle recently, with his form impressing.
The Senegalese international was once regarded as a weak-link in the Magpies’ side, but he has proven his worth of late.
Diame scored in Newcastle’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace last weekend, and looks likely to remain in Benitez’s starting line-up for the foreseeable future.
Newcastle are next in action on Sunday, when Benitez’s side take on Manchester United at St. James’ Park.