23 Aug 2014

Better than Balotelli? BR considered signing 'world class' £25m star who idolises Suarez

Last summer, Liverpool were constantly linked with a move for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, and it appears that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers considered signing the Belgian goalscorer during the current transfer window.

According to the Liverpool Echo today, Liverpool wanted to sign Christian Benteke 'before Liverpool made enquiries about Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and Karim Benzema'.

This news is hardly surprising - Rodgers is a big fan of Benteke, and in an interview with TalkSport last season, he enthused:

"[Christian] Benteke is one of the very top players at this level. He makes great runs and scores goals, and he caused us lots of problems."

During the period of LFC's alleged interest, Anfield legend Jan Molby argued that Benteke is 'an option worth considering', but he urged the Reds to be cautious about splashing the cash. He told Eurosport:

"You might be able to get Benteke, but I would like to see if it is more than just his physical power that has given him an advantage over defenders this season. I want to see him improve maybe 10 per cent before you dive in with heavy money"

Molby's call for caution appeared to be right. Benteke - recently described by Villa boss Paul Lambert as 'absolutely world class' - hit just 11 goals in 26 appearances for Villa last season, but to be fair, he did struggle with injury at times during the year.

Benteke handed in a transfer request last summer, but soon after, he signed a 4 year contract extension, which means any club who buys him will almost certainly have to pay a significant fee (reportedly £25m), and with Balotelli available for £16m, it's clear that the Italian is a significantly better deal.

Benteke is a massive fan of ex-Reds striker Luis Suarez, and in January, he hailed the Uruguayan as 'one of the best' in the world, adding:

“The thing I like about him [Suarez] is that he just keeps going. It’s a lesson for every player. If a striker tries to do something and loses the ball he will lose his hope and his confidence. But Suarez never, he will always try try try again until he scores a goal. That’s why he is a great player.”

Conventional wisdom suggests that Benteke is more likely than Balotelli to follow Suarez's 'never give up' attitude, but overall, who is the better options for LFC?

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86 comments:

  1. I would take Balotelli any day of the week over Benteke. He is the prime example of a one season wonder. We already have a Belgian who has the potential to surpass him at just 19 years of age. Thankfully, we did not get far in negotiations.

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  2. I worry about Balotelli.... Our game last year was based on high pressing and relentless attacking.... Don't get me wrong I think for the price there is a lot of positives to this deal but how far off 100% does Balotelli give in the average game.... Somebody like Suarez would be the benchmark for effort and workrate.... has Balotelli ever given 60% in a game?? I've never seen it...
    I love to be positive about a new signing and give him a chance but Balotelli is running out of chances...
    Nobody else concerned????

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  3. The voice of reason.10:16 am, August 23, 2014

    I have mentioned Benteke a few times on this site being a a realistic transfer for us, and also said about his injurys from last season that did affect his season enormously, i still think he`s a great player but so is Balotelli they both will be great this season i think for there respected teams, but Balotelli with no disrespect to Aston Villa, will have a big advantage in the quality of the players around him.

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  4. Balotelli had a 0.44 goal ratio last season compared to Benteke's 0.42. Although he didn't live up to massive expectations after his first season he did have a lot of injuries to contend to so I would not exactly consider him a one-season wonder. Though yes, there's every right to be cautious about spending that money after one good season, which is exactly what Lambert warned him about and the reason he stayed in the end.

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  5. I am not concerned because of two men. One is Brendo and the other is his work, one Daniel Sturridge. He had the reputation similar to Balo and look now. I believe we can do it.

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  6. Balo normally drops deep to get the ball and more often than not makes things happen. His distribution is actually pretty underrated.

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  7. I find Benteke a very overrated player. He seems clueless against other teams but for some reason he seems to perform against Liverpool and that is why our fanbase rates him so highly. He is one of those players who has a certain team they perform against and that is Liverpool. Now, he could only score own goals against us if he was to join Liverpool.

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  8. If you want a straight centre forward then bentek is your man but with Sturridge it would have been the same situation as signing Bony. Both Benteke and Bony would be sitting on the bench.


    Balotelli is much more versatile so IMO far bettter option (attitude aside) than Benteke.

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  9. Despite my concerns over Mario I would chose him over Benteke. He has more ability and I'm interested in seeing how Rodgers tackles the problem of getting the best out of him. The issue comparisons to Suarez are pointless as the concerns over Balotelli are lack of effort, inability to fit into our pressing game, poor attitude to training and no real desire to win. None of which apply to Suarez. I've debated several times with you Jamie that he is irreplaceable. Even you must admit that now.

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  10. The voice of reason.10:28 am, August 23, 2014

    I can see what your concern is, but with the current team members around him i can see him "Balotelli" wanting to try and be the best he can be, and when he`s shown the love and support of the best supporters in the world, he will want to play for us more so than any other team he`s played for previously. No concern here just sit back and enjoy another very gifted player who will love us as much as we love him.

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  11. 25m for benteke.......16m for balo looks like a major bargain.

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  12. Considered and tried to sign are quite different. I think both players could be accused of not trying hard enough. Mario has pace as well as strength and for that reason alone he is the better option.

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  13. The voice of reason.10:42 am, August 23, 2014

    Alls i can see is goals, goals, goals, Sturridge and Balotelli our two of a kind don`t like playing second fiddle to anybody, so the competition just stepped up another notch, who do you think will be the victor at the end of this season? Sturridge or Balotelli this rivalry will only be good for the players and we the supporters. My moneys on Sturridge just, if nothing else we will be the winners this season.

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  14. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:48 am, August 23, 2014

    balotelli is world class
    beat germany by himself

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  15. Hey Orme, do you know that we are going to finish ahead of UTD this season :-)

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  16. Your right and Chelsea, Arsenal and City might as well say it number 19 on its way.

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  17. I know stats don't always tell the whole story but 1 assist in 54 games for Milan doesn't really point to an underrated distribution unless he plays a lot of non threatening passes in deep areas in which case I remain unconvinced....

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  18. Benteke has done his Achilles and won't be the same player again!

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  19. Squawka shows Balotelli actually had 6 assists in the Serie A last season.

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  20. Now it all makes sense -its bugged me for ages why the Columbian Martinez cha cha cha of Porto tweeted THANKS LFC 5 weeks ago - it was because Milan will now buy him using the money we pay them for Mario Balotelli - SIMPLES

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  21. I was thinking Liverpool have done great in getting Balotelli at a bargain price and have done this within a few days. But now I understand that talks between Liverpool and Balotelli/ his agent have been going on for 3 months.

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  22. Saw someone saying in a previous article saying that Rodgers was not keen on Balotelli. I have read the same thing. This deal is either going to be a massive success or a massive thorn in the heel of Rodgers.

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  23. Its not his fault his manager was an absolute idiot playing him when he wasn't fit

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  24. If Balotelli works hard enough he'll be a success. Maybe Liverpool's psychologist can work his magic on Balotelli. IT'S NOT ABOUT ME, IT'S ABOUT THE TEAM.

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  25. Never wanted Benteke, agreed with Molby at the time and seen nothing to change my mind since. Good player but world class? Not in my opinion.

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  26. Markovic and sterling both help out the defence whenever needed(as I have observed from the pre-season friendlies).
    As long as the full backs dont become the strikers(Eg- Johnson), we shoud be doing well.

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  27. The difference is that Sturridge does not smoke, drink and do things silly things teenagers would. Sturridge acts like an adult at 24 whereas Balotelli is Super Mario.


    There is a massive maturity problem when it comes to Balotelli. Can Rodgers turn a child into an adult? We will have to see.

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  28. In that case, Raheem Sterling would be the best example. He was involved in various off the field controversies and in reality is still a 'kid' and Brendo has made him a mature young man and he can do the same for Balo.

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  29. I see a lot of people keep talking about Balotelli's attitude. Has he done anything since he moved to Italy to suggest that he has not grown up a little?


    Even Pirlo has come out and said that he has grown up a lot.

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  30. His agent has even said that this is Balotelli's last chance at the big time.


    If Balotelli was problem free then he would have cost LFC much more than £16m.

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  31. Raheem is 19 years old? Balotelli is 24.


    Spot the difference?

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  32. Yes and that is why he said that he is a kid. If Brendo can turn Raheem into a mature man at just 19 years old, he can do the same for Balo who is older.

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  33. Not that easy mate. Sterling has matured heavily in the last two seasons. There is much more weight on his shoulders. Balotelli has played at the highest level for many years and still is wet behind the ears. 5 years older than Sterling. Balotelli's baggage is excessive. All that baggage now gets chucked onto BR's doorstep.


    Comparing what Rodgers had to deal with Sterling vs Balotelli who always manages makes the headlines is a completely different scenario.

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  34. I have replied but my comment has gone for moderation...

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  35. Really? You planned the headline exactly to get hits. We all know how things work.

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  36. He does it all the time for the clicks. Poor journo. Should work for the S*n

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  37. Ridiculous attempt at clicks!

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  38. Don't get wrong, I'm not saying he is now saint but would you say that he has more maturity over the past 12 months then he did during his time with city

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  39. Not sure mate. Smoking, drinking and living the life of a teenager. There are many issues to deal with here.


    He has a chance to sort himself out. If he does not then his career will go down in flames.

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  40. thanks for the spell check mr spelling nazi

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  41. can will replace gerrard this season at some point and make the holding position his

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  42. an ex everton goal keeper from a bygone eras opinion on a Liverpool player is validation of the highest order.....

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  43. the vices you mention logan are more common than you think among players its just that some players are better at hiding it.....at 6 -3 with a Mohican's haircut and a white fur coat that would do the queen of sheba proud he kina draws attention to him self

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  44. Of course but this is something that would not be tolerated by Rodgers in his squad before balotelli arrived. Is Rodgers wishes going to change Balotelli's rebellious mindset? It has not been achieved by any of Balotelli's previous managers and he has worked under some top coaches. Good luck to Rodgers. That is all I can say.

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  45. there is a jump the gun think the worse attitude to balo...most of the things he gets up to are dumb pranks

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  46. Sounds like blog fodder to me from a bitter City fan dont worry it wont be too many years and you will be back home in the championship.

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  47. if he scores and creates it wont matter, why buy a dog and bark yourself

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  48. Think the problem goes much deeper mate. Milan are willing to let him go for £4 million more than what we paid for Borini. Balotelli is a incredible talent. Worth £16 million and has taken a pay cut? Give me a break.


    He can go to any club he wants. You can call them out yet we have signed him without any difficulty.


    His agent has had the most difficulty of all.

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  49. Agree m8 if he can't cut it here with all the support he will get from both club and supporters ( best in the business ..... ) he never will . Drinking in the last chance saloon now .! Did you see the egg on BR's face at the press interview ?

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  50. I have taken my socks off and I make the answer 14 years difference :-)

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  51. its a risk to win ratio ...pure and simple we lose we lose between 5 and 10m but what ever happens there will be a sell on value but if he fires the worlds the limit ...we have wasted millions on players who are average and will ony ever be average ..the money we lost on carroll is the balotelli fee so a degree of perspective is needed

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  52. I think BR may have had no choice hence him saying “I can categorically tell you ... that I can’t speak about it until the player is signed.”


    What is done is done. Still better than signing a player like Bony at the end of the day.

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  53. or to put it another way stu pot ....if your putting the ball in the onion bag let some other muppet do the donkey work

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  54. Yes a degree is of perspective is needed but if Sanchez was willing to come to LFC instead of Arsenal and you asked me to choose between him and Balotelli then i know who my choice would have been. As you say, perspective is needed.

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  55. Can't wait to hear what both he and Balo have to say once the ink is dry .....

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  56. Yup, will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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  57. Puberty, you wonder if Balotelli is even there yet.

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  58. Read he was offered to both the Arse and Spurs but I wonder why they didn't bite ?

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  59. To be fair, there is a few.

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  60. Like i said. His ability allows him to go to whichever club he desires. His agent convinced Liverpool and we are getting him at a cut price.


    His agent is right by saying this is his last chance.

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  61. So you don't think it was because THEY didn't fancy the risk

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  62. We have taken the risk. Financially the risk is less than that of Andy Carroll but in the same line as Suarez and his effect. Balotelli is a controversial character and the UK media thrive on that.

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  63. pure envy and the need to get his name in the paper in a desperate attempt to stay in the spotlight ...

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  64. Liver fools, do you realize that Ballotelli has achieved more than Liverpool in the last 5 years and any manager you have had in the same period if time? He needs to be given the captains armband and rightfully should demand it. He has to play with a bunch of trophy non achievers so he would expect nothing less than respect from his manager and team mates! I am gonna enjoy comedy hour every time the Fools are playing.

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  65. I'm not talking about the financial risk as he is a godsend for the media , will sell a lot of newspapers and keep reporters / pundits in jobs . He is VERY marketable and no doubt we will see a return on the investment which potentially will be shed loads ..... BUT my biggest fear is if it all goes tits up the damage it will do to the reputation , respect and credibility of the club will be irreparable

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  66. We dodged a massive bullet there..more of a tank shell than a bullet

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  67. Well according to his agent we have been in discussion for the last 3 months and that we are the only English club he has spoken to.


    What I am not sure about is did we approach him or did Balotelli agent approach us.


    If it was Balotelli agent who approached us first that might a good sign.

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  68. Spot on. It's the Andy Carrol syndrome. He plays well against us and we think he's a world beater. I've always said our defense made benteke look good giving him too much space. Mark him tight and he's suddenly average as most defenders realized last season

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  69. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:19 pm, August 23, 2014

    shelvy is doing awes0me

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  70. Haha sorry dude it's my OCD

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  71. Not a biggy if Super Mario ain't available for Mondays match..as long as Lucas an Johnson don't play we should do alright..! Looking at the squad now is so exciting, compared to when Brendan first took over its laughable! :-)

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  72. What a clown...! You mean all of the two managers we've had in 5 years!? Lol and the non trophy achievers that are either youth or bought within the last 18 months...?! Lol how about commenting on your own teams threads? #mug

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  73. Team rocket science5:59 pm, August 23, 2014

    At his age Good Belgian players were already at top clubs. In simple language not good enough.

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  74. B Jones won't bring in more than £1.5M if sold , no one in the world is worth 350 Million. Let alone our weak 2nd Goal keeper

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  75. Benteke always seemed a bit ponderous to me.

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  76. He did well against us because he is strong and our defense was weak as well as our defensive mid slots.......Lovren and Can should help that, I hope. I like Benteke also but an Achilles injury is very serious and isn't worth the gamble. We should sign Bony and sell Borini to sew up strikers list.

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  77. Cheers some people just ask for it :-)

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  78. Interesting, Liverpool in the top 4 after a decade in the wilderness and they bring in 2 questionable strikers. One past his sell by date and the other who believes he is the best player in the world and above any team mate or manager. Strange one,,,,but it's consistent with Roger the Dodgers choice of bringing Lambert in. It's all because Rodgers believes this is the last time that the fools will be in CL for another 10 years so Balotelli and Eto will leave at the end if the season. Learn from Jose's experience with Eto and ask yourself why he chose not to extend his contract. These unnecessary and possible knee jerk panic buys are gonna come back and bite you in the crotch....beleedat!!

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  79. I hope is was red crape.

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  80. mario transfer certainly has a good feel to it. considering we spent 20 million on downing, 8 on adam etc its a great deal. if BR pulls of Falcao - Anfield is going to be buzzing with real expectation.

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  81. Now where did I hear that one before?
    Never mind, hope springs eternal.

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  82. There is a difference between not agreeing with a signing and not being on board. Every second Balotelli will wear our jersey, I will support him as I do Gerrard or anyone else for that matter. That still doesn't mean I have to like him. If he turns out a Suarez, a little bit mad but a warrior on the pitch, for us, I'll gladly admit I was wrong.They don't have to be perfect little angels. I would have loved Cantona or Keane at LFC. As long as they do what they do fighting for the club and not just themselves, they can be **** all they want.

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  83. Like I said above. I will support him. Feck I even support Sakho when he's on the pitch and I'm still not happy with that transfer :-) The one good sign there is that he's moved into Rodgers' old home. His wife didn't get to stay there very long so maybe it's an omen for Sakho..

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  84. No one has a crystal ball. Not you either.

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