Champions League winning midfielder Didi Hamann reckons we’re about to get an absolute steal in acquiring Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke for £32.5m.
We’ve agreed to meet the forward’s release clause, rumours are rife that he’s already agreed personal terms, and subject to a completed medical, he’ll officially be our second most expensive player of all time early next week.
Hamann thinks that the Belgian forward is easily worth the large fee, despite many fans who are comparing the price to the ones Chelsea and Arsenal signed Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez for last summer.
“I think Benteke is worth the money,” Hamann told the ECHO.
“Look at what kind of money is being paid for other attacking players – like the £49million Man City paid for Raheem Sterling.
“I think £32million is probably about right. In fact I would have paid a bit more for him because I think he’s that good.
“I’ve seen him terrorise defences and he gave Liverpool a torrid time at Wembley a few months ago.
“There’s not many players out there who can play up front on their own.
“You have to be able to hold the ball up, score goals, occupy defenders and bring others into play. He does that. He’s an aerial threat, he has pace and he can finish. I think he’s tailor-made for Liverpool.
“Fingers crossed he does sign. There aren’t too many decent ones out there and last season showed how badly Liverpool needed another centre-forward.
“Of course Danny Ings and Divock Origi have also come in. But it would be asking a lot for them to play a leading role. I think the more pressure you take off them, the better they will do and the more goals they will score.
“Six or seven weeks ago things looked a bit bleak and fans were disillusioned. But my mood has certainly changed and I think a lot of the fans feel the same.
“I am very hopeful after the business that’s been done. If Benteke signs, things are looking pretty good.”
If a deal for Benteke is signed and sealed quickly, he could fly out to Australia to join up with his new team-mates, although he’d be heading back to Europe shortly after to finish the pre-season tour.
The 24-year-old is a massive aerial threat, and because of these physical attributes, many have questioned whether he’s really suited to our style of play, but Hamann thinks with better players around him – he’ll thrive.
“I think it’s unfair for anyone to compare him with the likes of Mario Balotelli and Andy Carroll,” Hamann said.
“I think he has a lot more to offer than those players.
“Benteke has scored a lot more goals and he’s a No 1 centre forward. His goals almost single handedly kept Villa up.
“You need someone who can score 20 goals a season for you in the Premier League and Benteke can do that for Liverpool.
“With the service he will get from the likes of Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana and Markovic, I expect him to do very well.”