Christian Benteke – On the Move?
CadChica’s Note: This is a guest post from Lee Ball. Lee has been writing about football ever since he accompanied his father to watch his first game at the age of 12. Although it was a while until he came up with anything worthy of publishing, Lee now writes for several online football publications. In his spare time, he also enjoys playing golf and travelling Asia.
Christian Benteke is arguably one of the English Premier League’s best marksmen, having first signed for Aston Villa in 2012 from Belgian side Genk for £7 million and he’s gone on to make a huge impression in Europe’s top league. He went on to score 18 league goals in his debut season eclipsing Dwight Yorke’s previous club record goals tally.
Although his second season wasn’t so prolific as he was blighted by injury, which saw him miss 6 months of the season due to an Achilles tendon injury. That inconsistency followed him into the 2014/2015 season where he struggled to hit any form during the first half of the season. It wasn’t until the departure of ex-manger Paul Lambert, and the appointment of Tim Sherwood that Benteke’s form changed. During Sherwood’s reign, the pacey Belgian hit 12 goals in 15 league games for Villa. It was this form that subsequently saved the Midlands club from relegation, and once again brought Benteke to the attention of Europe’s top clubs.
Now it seems, with the potential transfer of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City edging closer that Liverpool will soon have funds to replace their wantaway England international. With Liverpool desperate to find a 20-goal-a-season replacement for the somewhat irreplaceable Luis Saurez, Liverpool see Benteke as the nearest thing to the enigmatic Uruguayan.
But over the last the last two summers, a big move has eluded Benteke, so why should this transfer window be any different? Although “Tekkers,” as he’s more commonly known by Villa fans, signed a new a new four-year-deal in 2013 after initially handing in a transfer request, his argument would be that he’s given the club two good years.
Though don’t expect to see Sherwood sanction a move just yet, if Liverpool, or any other club for that matter doesn’t meet Benteke’s buyout clause. The reported £32.5 million buyout clause is a lot of money even if the Merseyside club do receive £50 million from Manchester City for Sterling, they have already outlaid a lot of money this transfer window. And after Rodgers splurged so much money on poor signings last season, don’t hold your breath if this transfer doesn’t get past the notorious Anfield transfer committee.
There’s also the fact that Liverpool’s style may not suit the big Belgian, as football journalist Michael Lintorn even feels that they may have to change formation to accommodate Benteke. With Liverpool potentially having Benteke, Sturridge, Ings, Balotelli, Lallana, Coutinho, Markovic, Firmino and Origi all competing for attacking positions it could cause the Anfield side to drastically rethink their formation for the upcoming season.
With odds shortening on whether Benteke will make the move to Anfield, it’s looking more likely that than ever before. The only real sticking point seems to be if Liverpool will meet the buyout clause in Benteke’s Aston Villa contract.