Brendan Rodgers is delighted with Christian Benteke’s debut friendly wonder-strike, and has described how he thinks the £32.5m summer signing will tactically benefit us, the Echo reports.
The 24-year-old Belgian went some way to silence doubters that suggested he’d only be effective for a long-ball side by smashing in a technically exceptional volley from the edge of the penalty box.
Many have claimed that Benteke’s attributes are solely his strength and aerial ability, and that as a result – he wouldn’t complement our attacking midfielders such as Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana who like to play intricate passes and play neat football in order to create chances.
But the manager has refuted these claims, highlighting Benteke’s work off the ball and his underrated speed.
“Considering he has only been back in training for just over a week, I thought he looked really good,” he began.
“He looked fairly sharp and he was a real presence for us at the top of the field. I was really impressed by him.
“You saw him today, his hold-up play, his movement and his goal was top-level technique.
“The key for us and how we work when we don’t have the ball is the ability to be aggressive and press, and you can see Christian has that,” added Rodgers.
“And the key to playing with the ball is about technique and intelligence and you won’t see too many better goals than that in terms of technique. Let’s hope he scores some better ones, and plenty of them!
“His hold-up play brings others into the game and his pace is always a threat in behind. For me he is absolutely perfect about how we work.
“I know people have questioned is he going to fit into the fluency of how we want to work.
“But I think he’ll show the capacity to do that and also add something to our game which is that real aerial threat in the box.”
So impressive was Benteke’s goal, he could start the Premier League opener versus Stoke City, despite only playing around an hour of pre-season football for Liverpool.
Danny Ings and Divock Origi provide Rodgers with other options of course, but most fans would be keen to see our second most expensive ever signing lead the line against the Potters – setting the tone for a hopefully exciting season.