Damon Savanelli discusses how the sale of Christian Benteke will affect Liverpool.
Last week, Crystal Palace completed the signing of Liverpool forward Christian Benteke. A fee of £27 million was agreed between the two clubs which could rise to £32 million due to £5 million in add ons.
Benteke’s Liverpool career has officially come to an end after just one season. Signed 13 months ago from Aston Villa for £32.5 million, the Belgian’s stint at Liverpool can be described as little more than disappointing.
With 10 goals and 3 assists, it can hardly be said he did horribly considering Benteke’s lack of playing time. The former Villa striker showed spurts of greatness with a few crucial goals coming from the former Aston Villa striker, including a memorable bicycle kick against Manchester United. Surely you can’t hate him after scoring a beauty like that against United?
Starting only eight Premier league games, Klopp often used Benteke as a sub. It is clear that Benteke is a quality striker, but just does not fit into Klopp’s system. Good in the air, the Belgian is more of a target man than a creative type of player. Klopp prefers quick, creative players that fit his high pressing style of play. Unfortunately, Benteke did not fit into that system.
The Belgian has one trait that no other current Liverpool attacker possesses, and that is his ability in the air. At the beginning of the 2015/2016 campaign, Benteke was only second to Olivier Giroud in terms of most headed goals since 2012 (14). The current Liverpool attack is currently composed of players that mostly beat defenders with pace and dribbling. Sure, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge will head in a few goals in during the season, but with the sale of Benteke, Liverpool lose a real aerial threat.
Any team that wishes to be successful must have a dynamic and diverse attack. Will Liverpool miss having the presence of a big, strong striker in the box? It looks as though the current attack that Klopp has built will outsmart opponents with sheer pace and technical ability. If not purely because there is no alternative.
Benteke will most likely fit in well at Palace where he will be the center of the attack – and the attention given his tremendous fee. When in the right system, Alan Pardew’s latest signing is a fearsome striker, and will most likely adjust to life at Selhurst Park rather quickly. Benteke becomes Pardew’s fourth summer signing in what has been a busy window for the Eagles. A four-year contract has been signed keeping Benteke at the London club until 2020.
There will be mixed feelings about this transfer with some believing that Benteke was never given a proper chance and others just happy to recoup the money. Nonetheless, this transfer appears to benefit all parties.
Liverpool will most likely not look to bring in another striker with Origi, Sturridge, Ings, Firmino, and Mane all still available. Fans will hope the money is spent to fill voids in the current squad with left back and defensive midfield worrying lacking in quality.
After only a year, Christian Benteke has moved on from Liverpool Football Club after a disappointing season. A true professional, Benteke provided fans with some good memories. It is yet to be seen whether or not the Liverpool attack will cope without a real aerial threat.
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