Robbie Fowler has revealed his belief that Christian Benteke would be the perfect fit at Liverpool next season, as the transfer saga involving the Reds and the Aston Villa striker continues to roll onwards.
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The Liverpool Echo believe Benteke to be Brendan Rodgers’ number one remaining transfer target this summer, following the deals for six new players, including forwards Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino.
And Fowler, who scored 183 goals for the Reds during his time at the club, believes that the 24-year-old Belgian could be successful on Merseyside. That’s despite a heavy amount of fan opposition towards the deal, with many supporters expressing their displeasure at the potential deal.
However, our former favourite has now given his backing to the deal, telling the Echo: “It’s important we get a proven goalscorer and of the names being bandied about I’d go for Benteke. I think he’s excellent.
“I know there are other top strikers out there and probably more prolific scorers. But in terms of all-round play – strength, speed, physicality, finishing – I think Benteke could be the main man for Liverpool.”
As the Echo explain, Villa have so far been unwilling to budge on their £32.5m asking price for the player, a fee which seems exceptionally steep for someone who only scored 13 Premier League goals last season.
Nonetheless, Benteke averages a goal every two games during his time at Villa Park and is the sixth highest scorer in the club’s history, with 49 in all competitions. He was sidelined for six months after rupturing his Achilles in April 2014 and has only recently rediscovered his best form.
“I’ve watched him a lot and he’s not just a targetman,” Fowler added. “He can hold the ball well and bring others into play but he’s also mobile and keeps defenders on their toes.
“Before he got his injury I was very impressed with him and I was hoping we would sign him then. He had a slow start after getting back fit but under Tim Sherwood his form was superb.
“I think he’s ideal for the way Brendan wants to play. It’s probably what we lacked at times last season. We had forwards who wanted to drop deep to get involved with the play and we always had that gap up front.
“With a Benteke type, you have someone who will stay up there and stretch defenders. If you have someone who stretches the defence and makes the pitch bigger there’s a lot more space for the likes of Firmino, Coutinho and Henderson to run into.”
Do we agree, Reds?