By Stephen James Hutton. The transfer circus has felt like it’s been open months, yet Liverpool’s pursuit of Christian Benteke came to an end a few days ago with the Belgian forward signing on at a fee of £32.5million. To me, and many Reds I’m sure, it has felt like a long time coming. Now it’s up to Benteke to silence his critics that he already has after his big money move, without having even kicked a ball for the club.
Liverpool finished last season rather disappointingly, languishing in 6th place and missing out on Champions League football for the upcoming season. After the near title win in the season before, there weren’t many Reds that could’ve predicted such a sharp fall down the table.
That was hugely down to the forwards. Don’t get me wrong, the team as a whole was nowhere near the quality of the season before (hard to be without Luis Suarez) but inadequate forwards saw Liverpool score only 52 Premier League goals, compared with the 101 the season before. A plight that fell to the feet of Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli. Luckily for you and me, they couldn’t hit a barn door with them feet, much less you or me.
Between those 3, only 4 footballs hit the back of a Premier League net. The rest hit the roof of a Premier League stadium. The failure to get and keep Daniel Sturridge was also a major blow. Although managing just the 7 League games, Daniel scored 4 goals. Equal with the other 3, with less combined games played. Alberto Moreno scored more league goals last season than Borini and Balotelli. And he only scored 2!
Liverpool have been crying out for a forward that will be consistent, as injury free as possible and will put the ball in the net. Benteke is the man that Brendan Rodgers has turned to for that.
With 3 Premier League seasons under his belt, Benteke has always hit double figures in the League. He put away a hat-trick last season too against QPR in a 3-3 draw which, to me, says he can drag a team to a point with his goal scoring prowess.
He’s regularly terrorised defences and with a much better group of players around him, the future looks like it could be very good for the Merseyside team. Reds fans are already dreaming of a Benteke screamer right into the top corner against United, just like he did for Villa.
With the new season upon us and another summer of huge change at Anfield fully underway, supporters will be hoping that the big Belgian hits the ground running at the club, and more so for a Benteke-Sturridge link up that puts the club right back to the top.