After the departure of Luis Suarez, Liverpool went on to have a dismal season – widely missing on the Champions League spot. And with the British record-fee transfer of youngster Raheem Sterling to Manchester City, Liverpool has a long way to go if they are to challenge for a spot in the Europe’s elite. However, manager Brendan Rodgers seems to be trying to avoid repeating the same mistake as he looks set with a bolster of new signings for the coming season.
After the recruitment of players James Milner, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez and Adam Bogdan, Rodgers bought a high-profile signing by bringing in Roberto Firmino from German club Hoffenheim for a reported 29 million euros. However, the departure of club legend Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling left Liverpool fans wanting more from Rodgers. And after some negotiations, the club finally managed to sign Christian Benteke from last season’s FA Cup finalists Aston Villa.
A striking prowess for Aston Villa back in 2013-2014 campaign, the Belgian failed to carry his outstanding form as Villa narrowly avoided the drop zone this season. However, injuries were largely to blame as the striker netted 15 goals for Villa last season- one of them being a goal against his new club Liverpool in the FA cup semi-finals. Alongside fellow countrymen Romelu Lukaku, the young Belgian strike force was widely targeted that season. While Lukaku managed a record transfer at Everton, Benteke’s injury had derailed his any possible moves. But, with the Belgian back in shape, he’ll be looking to revive Liverpool’s long lost glory.
It is highly likely that the striker, age 24, will join Roberto Firmino and fan favorite Danniel Sturridge in the attacking line- which has been strengthened by the arrival of Burnley’s leading striker Danny Ings. Benteke is set to replace Mario Balotelli, with Rodgers clearly stating that the Italian can leave the club. Although Balotelli arrived at Anfield with a bad reputation, fans were hoping they would see his once “mercurial” form back in the league. With only four goals , he is now set to join Bologna.
Benteke apparently was enjoying his break with his girlfriend in Beverly Hills, California (even posting a photo on Instagram) when Liverpool FC sent a transfer offer. After some two long weeks of negotiation, it was confirmed that he had signed with the club for a reported salary of £140,000. His departure also led to the transfer of Villa captain Fabian Delph to Manchester City. Sherwood, Villa’s manager, will now have a lot of work to do as he sets to replace his most talented players.
With sheer strength backed with a sturdy height of 6’2”, Benteke is considered as one of the stronger strikers. Definitely not as agile and speedy as Suarez, Benteke’s transfer was criticized by some fans on Twitter- with many stating he doesn’t fit into the team. However, given that he scored more goals in his injured campaign than any other Liverpool player managed to, he is a good addition to the squad. However with a hefty price tag, the weight of having to deliver is heavy. Nonetheless, given his performance in the English league in the past seasons, he is expected to deliver.