Our former defensive stalwart Jamie Carragher has spoken about our second most expensive player ever, Christian Benteke, reports the Echo.
The 24-year-old finalised his £32.5m move from Aston Villa yesterday evening, and the transfer has well and truly got the football world talking.
Benteke notched 49 goals in 100 matches for the Birmingham club since arriving from Genk in 2012 – and his one in two goal ratio has been deemed evidence enough of his ability for the Liverpool hierarchy.
The striker would have bagged more had injuries not stunted his progress while in England, but after an extensive medical in London, we decided the enormous fee required to activate Benteke’s release clause and sign him was worth it.
“While we’ve been impressed by how Benteke has torn teams apart — Liverpool, against whom he scored five goals in six games, have really suffered — we also know when his touch has been poor and his lack of interest has been apparent,” Carragher nervously began.
“He can be devastating and infuriating in equal measure.”
“The hope at Liverpool is that surrounding him with better players will see him become even more devastating and consistent. I like him as a striker and actually think he would be great for Chelsea.
“Jose Mourinho likes that profile of forward and sets his teams up to get the best out of them.
“My worry at Liverpool is, will he be suited to the short, sharp and incisive passing game that Rodgers favours?
“Brendan wants his side to play through teams, rather than getting the ball into him from wide areas, a fact Tim Sherwood pointed out as soon as Liverpool’s interest became public.
“Parallels have already been drawn with Andy Carroll and people have pointed out that Rodgers wasted no time in getting rid of him but that decision had nothing to do with the fact that Carroll was a big man. It was purely down to him lacking pace and movement. Those are qualities Benteke does not lack.”
Carragher’s comments largely make complete sense, although the Carroll comparisons are unfair. The Englishman had enjoyed a fruitful six months of Premier League football, while Benteke’s been consistent for three seasons – and is far more technically able.
Granted, Benteke can head superbly, but he has the pace to get in behind and the control to link up effectively with team-mates as well.