We get the lowdown on a player who is dividing opinion amongst Liverpool fans from an Aston Villa supporter…
Christian Benteke‘s big-money move from Aston Villa is expected to be ratified later today but what exactly are Liverpool getting for their £32.5m?
We find out from someone who has watched him week-in, week-out for the duration of his three year stay at Villa Park, Vital Football head honcho J P Fear.
So what can we expect from Benteke? Is he solely about physicality and converting crosses?
Far from it. I think some Liverpool fans (I’ve been reading comments of him not being wanted!) have tarred him with the Paul Lambert tactics brush. It’s not his fault if the previous manager’s idea was to pump the ball to him all the time. He has some great skills, some lovely touches and can score a goal out of nothing. The solo effort against Crystal Palace last season springs to mind. Nothing wrong with having a target man either though. You all remember and still love Robbie Fowler; he sometimes looked like he’d done nothing all game then bang, bang, bang, chances came and he put them away. I actually think the physicality he has might well help you as well.
£32.5m is a lot of money – who’s got the better end of the deal?
The football world has gone mad hasn’t it?! We bought him for £7m so the club have turned a nice profit, but I’d rather we were keeping him. He is a one-goal-every-other-game striker and they are rare. His goals have effectively kept us up for 3 seasons in a row. Even the first season, when he was finding his feet, he still banged in 19 goals.
Is he worth the money? We’ll all soon find out. Give him the service and I think he’ll be devastating for you. However, he hasn’t stepped up internationally so that leaves a small question mark, plus he’s had two pretty bad injuries at the start of the last two seasons which have hampered his progres, although each time he came back and soon started banging in the goals so it looks like there’s no lasting damage done.
Do you think Benteke will succeed at Liverpool?
The world is at his feet – it’s up to him now. If he can stay injury free, I think he’ll succeed. I also think he’ll be viewing you guys as a stepping stone, the same as he did us. He has got a bit of a chip on his shoulder in that respect and putting in a transfer request at the end of his first season with us was pretty poor form really! He did admit not long back that it was a mistake though to be fair.
49 goals in 101 games for us whilst we were predominantly poor, playing dour football under Lambert and not really getting him the service… that surely bodes well for you if you set the team up right and get him the service.
Do you have a farewell message for the big frontman?
Thanks, it’s been a pleasure watching you on the pitch. I thought we’d get another season out of you after you said you wanted Champions League football but hey ho. One bit of advice, tell your agent to shut up and stop talking to the press. It really does you no favours at all. Oh, and don’t you bloody dare score against us!!!
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