16 Jul 2015

Transfer Stunner: Liverpool to finally sign £32m 'superstar'. Meeting held. Done deal this week?

After months of speculation, Liverpool appear to be on the brink of signing Aston Villa 'superstar' Christian Benteke, who remains a polarising figure amongst LFC fans.

Multiple sources today claim that the Reds met with Aston Villa yesterday, and have agreed to meet Benteke's buyout clause:

* Liverpool Echo: "Liverpool are on the brink of completing a £32.5million deal for Christian Benteke. The Reds have decided to trigger the release clause in the Belgium international's contract".

* The Telegraph: "Liverpool will meet Christian Benteke’s £32.5million Aston Villa exit clause as they close in on the signing of their number one summer transfer target"

* The Times: "Liverpool are ready to trigger Christian Benteke’s £32.5 million exit clause in the most significant indication yet of the club’s backing of Brendan Rodgers".

Club legends like John Barnes, Jamie Carragher, Steve Nicol, and Robbie Fowler, have all urged Liverpool to sign Benteke, and Dietmar Hamann has now joined the growing chorus of approval.

Speaking to TalkSport this week, the German raved:

“Christian Benteke is tailor-made for Liverpool. He will score 20-plus goals a season in the Premier League for Liverpool with the service he’ll get from Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firminho.”

My only opposition to this deal is the transfer fee, and Benteke's recent injury history.

£32.5m is simply too much for Benteke, especially in light of his recent injury problems, and such a massive outlay means that the big Belgian will be under intolerable pressure to justify the fee.

As for Benteke fitting-in to Liverpool - the idea that he isn't suited to Liverpool's style of play is a risible myth without any factual basis. Fans and the media perpetuate this myth - the cornerstone of which is that Benteke needs constant crosses to thrive - but the stats show that it's nonsense:

Last Season

* Goals scored: 15 (Headed goals: 4 [36%] | Non-headed goals: 11 [74%])

Villa Total

* Goals scored: 49 (Headed goals: 13 [26%] | Non-headed goals: 36 [74%]


Strikers should utilise all their strengths, and with Benteke, he's tall and strong, so obviously he's going to score goals with his head.

That said, as the stats show, Benteke scores far more goals on the ground than he does in the air, and a well-rounded striker with his attributes arguably *should* be scoring a quarter of his goals via headers.

If Benteke didn't score many goals with his head, he'd be failing as a striker (IMO), and by that, I mean he'd be wasting his height and strength, which are two of his best attributes.

As a comparison, consider Diego Costa. He's the same height as Benteke, but he's comparatively ineffective in the air, which is why he rarely scores goals with his head (Only 3 of his 21 goals for Chelsea (14%) are headers).

Clearly, Costa doesn't utilise his obvious gifts in the same way as Benteke. Ditto Andy Carroll, who is comparatively useless in the air (especially during his ill-fated spell at Liverpool).

Conversely, a smaller player like Sergio Aguero won't score many goals with his head (only 5 of his 107 goals for City are headers). The Argentine has other super attributes, which he uses to maximum effect.

Check out the following video of Benteke's goals last season.


This blows the 'crosses' myth out of the water, and shows that Benteke:

* Is capable of creating his own goals.

* Is good on the ground, and has excellent close control/technique.

* Is capable of scoring goals out of nothing.

Transfer fee aside, I'm quietly confident that Benteke - if fully fit - will be a great signing for Liverpool. If he fails, it will - most likely - be down to Brendan Rodgers' failure to utilise him correctly (see Markovic, Balotelli et al from last season)

Author: Jaimie K



79 comments:

  1. Still not convinced he is worth 32.5mil. I suspect the fact that Utd are allegedly interested has most likely forced our hand

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  2. Jonathan Capozzola3:50 pm, July 16, 2015

    Its funny that you mention Aguero not scoring headers... I agree with you and it got me to thinking that Suarez isn't that big either but it seemed he scored his fair share of headers with Liverpool. I know it is off topic slightly but do you have his % headers when he was with the team?

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  3. Well if sterling is worth 49 mil benteke is worth 80mil . If we can sign illiemande be perfect

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  4. I'm to the point that I'm not even against signing Benteke, just not at that price. That was always going to be our disadvantage in the Sterling sale. Yes we get a lot of moolah, but now other sellers know we have it. They can put the price high and force us to meet if we really want the player.


    Side note, I really like the new Away kits revealed... simple clean, just the right amount of red for a white dominant kit.

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  5. He's only not worth £32.5m if there's someone available we can get, just as good or better, for less. Worse than spending this on Benteke would be to start the season without a fit, proven goalscorer. If we trust that they tried for Lacazette and couldn't get him, then there's nothing wrong with this deal.

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  6. Oh well, either he works out and we do well or he doesn't and Rodgers gets the sack. Win win

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  7. My other issue with Benteke.. if BR could not make the team with work with Balo.. why should it work with Benteke?

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  8. Different strikers have different abilities its that simple. Benteke is never going to tear teams apart running with the ball at feet but that's not what he is expected to do. If you expect him to do that then yeh you're going to be rather disappointed. You have highlighted one of his biggest weaknesses and compared him to the best striker in the PL and one of the best in the world... surely you have a better argument than that?!?

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  9. messi is a forward, he's played there for Barcelona and for Argentina as a false 9 don't know where you get the idea that he's a midfielder...

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  10. Because they share very few similarities on the football pitch.

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  11. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

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  12. Menez from Milan? Good player, a bit sellfish and hotheaded though..

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  13. Not strictly true. Messi plays as part of a front 3 with Saurez and Neymar.


    I would not say he plays deep at all

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  14. I have to say that all in all I am delighted with the work done in this transfer window. Clyne is the perfect replacement for Johnson, and Bogdan will put much more pressure on Mignolet. The retention of Wisdom is great news, and I believe he will mature into a legend. Milner, Lucas, Allen, and Henderson will give power , and bite, to the midfield. We then have a number of good young flair players who can rip into any defence . If we can now add Benteke to compliment a fit again Sturridge we will have to PL proven strikers. Benteke is already settled in England, and has experience of our PL, SO HE SHOULD HIT THE GROUND RUNNING !!!
    The deal for Sterling is truly amazing, and I am sure that the "legend in his on lunch time" will enjoy warming the bench at City. If we could now pull off the Balotelli/Gomez swap we will be looking at the best transfer window for many a year.
    No excuses for Brendan this season. He will need to rotate the squad carefully, keep everyone happy, and get the right line up and tactics game by game. IMHO this is the best squad we have had for many a year, so no more excuses, I expect results.

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  15. We really don't need anymore attacking players. For me the key position we needed to recruit (before we splash all our cash on Benteke) is a top drawer midfielder. Looks like we will be waiting another year.

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  16. Messi is not a *central-striker* or a lone striker like Benteke. Messi plays deeper.

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  17. The fact that we sold Sterling for £49mil weakened our position too, we couldn't very well haggle over price when the whole world knew we'd hit the jackpot. Benteke is better than Carroll was, and is an upgrade on Lambert, Balotelli and Borini. He is also Premier League proven.
    I remain sceptical, but I will support him and I hope he does us proud.

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  18. He played as an Attacking midfielder for most of his career.


    He has never really been classed as a striker.

    Its only really with Saurez and Neymar he has played as a front 3.

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  19. I disagree.

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  20. Messi is a striker. But he is the best player on the planet, of course he will drop deep more than others and dribble more. And Kev's argument sticks, what matter is the percentage of successful dribbles, not the number of bad ones.

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  21. Jonathan Capozzola4:45 pm, July 16, 2015

    If we don't sell them then they do what they did last year... sit on the bench.

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  22. For most of Messi's career he has always been classed as a attacking midfielder.


    It is only really last season you can call him a striker

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  23. Yes AC milan ,Just watched his youtube clips today.

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  24. I remember that 18-yard header he scored when Cissokho accidentally crossed it. Nearly pissed myself when I saw that go in!

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  25. Wisdom a legend... for real? Allen will give power and bite to the midfield? Gomez for Balotelli? We already have Sturridge, Ings and Origi plus Benteke why on earth do we need a 5th striker who is over the hill and seriously out of form? Add in we still haven't sold Borini or Lambert. I just don't understand...

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  26. Disagree. He is a striker in my book, just too good to wait for the ball. Did he ever play behind two strikers?

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  27. Has a bag of tricks that one. again, not sure we need him, nor his craziness...

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  28. Please expand...

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  29. Our bench is getting too good for that...

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  30. They won't even get near the bench.

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  31. too good of a bench? that doesn't sound like a problem

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  32. Would have liked Balo to have another season at LFC and given a license to do what he likes and be as bad as he wants to be ( on the pitch )

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  33. So guardiola repositionning messi from the wing as a striker is a myth ? even Ibrahimovic is still angry that he prefered to put messi as a numer 9 rather than giving him a chance there, that's in his biography and actually a well known fact

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  34. Its kinds of ironic that the last goal in the video is against us. I don't think he is worth 32M, but then again I never imagined getting 49M for Sterling.




    I was thinking that if would be great if his injuries don't overlap with Stur. Then BR can play with one man up top the entire season.

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  35. yeah, BR in front of the mirror at home! :P

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  36. Messi has played as an attacking midfielder, wide forward and as a false 9. He can play any of those positions to equal effect. I don't really get why people are arguing over Messi's position when he has clearly played various positions.

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  37. Not saying it is, just that Borini won't sit on it no more..

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  38. what has that got to with it..


    That is like saying Sterling is a striker because he has played up front and behind 1 and 2 strikers.

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  39. LFC have far to many ave players on their books that they cannot sell !

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  40. Sorry to get philosophical here, but in my opinion he cannot be classified in a particular position, he just roams wherever he likes. And if anything last season Ghost Rider I would say he started on the right wing more often than not, Suarez was striker last season.

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  41. "Messi is an excellent, sensational, unique player. He is astoundingly creative, has amazing individual skill and is able to constantly put his rivals at unease. A natural left footer, he is stunningly versatile, and can play either in the middle or on whichever of the wings required, although it is out on the right that he feels most comfortable"

    Quote from Barcelona's website

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  42. just read that we've met Benteke's 32mil release clause! -very disappointing that we would spend that much on him tbh. it looks like we have no more money, or otherwise; why didn't we meet that clause before the raheem sale? i suspect thats the only money we've got, so unlikely that after Benteke, there will be anyone else of significance coming in...

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  43. Yes he did but he was still part of a front 3, that is what I was driving at

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  44. Yes, but he's not a central striker like Benteke. Lallana plays as part of the LFC's front three, but he's not a striker either.

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  45. In fairness to Villa, they are not holding us to ransom because we have money. They have taken the exact same standpoint we did with Sterling. "He's one of our best players, we value him at this, pay it, or go away" it's exactly what we did to city

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  46. it's just Barcelona's website giving themself a pat on the back for having the best player of his generation.
    Messi is a false 9 that is giving the freedom to roam around, to the exstant that he has no defensive obligation

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  47. You misunderstood me- an AM has to be able to play behind two strikers, and I don't think he did, did he? A genuine question..

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  48. Ha ha. Takes one to know one....

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  49. messi is a false 9, that's not even debatable, sure he's not a typical striker, but you put Messi in the argument not me...
    You put him in the argument to prove that loosing the ball doesn't mean much but i just proved that there's a reason why for messi it's so negligeable while for Benteke it's not. (because one dribble an enormous number on time while the other doesn't)

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  50. In my opinion, Benteke makes sense if we just don't feel like relying on Sturridge anymore.


    Otherwise, he might actually fit in ok playing off Ings and/or Origi.


    But my issue is the price, and the fact that I don't think he and Sturridge will complement each other well.


    Sturridge is still a dangerous player when healthy, but I feel like Benteke is going to expect to play every week, especially based upon his price tag.


    Sturridge will be back in October. And he may very quickly become an albatross if he's not playing when healthy.

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  51. Jonathan Capozzola5:15 pm, July 16, 2015

    At least the large salaries of Gerrard and Johnson are off the books now... and Suarez from the year before... and Sterlings whopping 35k a week.

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  52. Right, but having the money does take away any leverage we had before.

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  53. There may not seem to be much difference between paying £25m and £32.5m but it makes a huge difference in terms of the pressure it puts on the player. The boy has never played in the Champions League, has been playing for a bottom to mid-table team for the last 3 years and was in the Belgian league before that. There is no guarantee he can cope with this kind of expectation, this transfer is way too much of a risk IMO.
    What happens if he doesn't score in his first 3 games whilst missing a few sitters? All you will here from the fans is the £32.m transfer fee, nothing else. Then the player starts doubting, loses confidence, ends up on the bench and is sold in the next summer.
    Players should arrive in the best conditions to succeed and it is not the case here.

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  54. Worst case, we end up keeping Lambo for experience, Borini is frozen out, and Balo is forced to work hard for apps over Ings. However, there will be buyers. Just the question is whether or not they want to meet value.

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  55. You've proved nothing. Messi does not play in just one position, and the fact remains that he plays in a completely different way to Benteke.

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  56. well borini did screw us on that last year but the bench being to good? that doesn't make sense

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  57. that doesn't seem like a problem either

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  58. It isn't, not saying it is.

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  59. GOOD NEWS Villa players say he is goint to Man U - I hope so because he is not worth that money. The AC Milan las Menez would be the perfect foil for Sturidge and costs £!0 million - now that makes sense - go check him out he has the Suarez movement and skills but not as prolific. MORE GOOD NEWS -We might yet sign Parker from Fulham

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  60. I suppose Rodgers desperately pushing to take over 'long ball team' from West Ham, the hammers has been the only one for almost a decade in epl.....

    Van haal came close last season but somehow dragged themselves out.

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  61. so what ? that doesn't change the fact that benteke is poor with the ball and i proved that with stats just like you always do...

    Why would i care that Benteke is different to Messi, i've never said that he was similar nor have i compared them to say that Benteke wouldn't fit at Liverpool, you did to disprove that Benteke is poor with the ball.

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  62. ...if this is true and goes ahead I'll chain myself to the nearest railing in protest.....


    ..NAH, not really......I actually think its brilliant news...he's big, he's strong and he'll run you over like a freight-train...plus he can score goals.....he's like a massive powerful cannon that needs directing in the right way...yes, yes, follow millions of comments on how BR couldn't direct a bee to honey, etc or some-such-other opinion about his qualities....anyway....


    ..its been how long since we've actaully bought two, yes two, high-value individuals in one transfer window, add to that Clyne and what better right-back could we have bought and we start to see real expensive talent on the pitch....anyway I for one am excited and very enthusiastic about this season....
    ...was dreading stoke...now I'm salivating at the prospect....

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  63. You haven't proved Benteke is 'poor with the ball' at all.

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  64. I just hope for the rest of the footballing world Barcelona don't suddenly discover his best position.

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  65. ...so that was you in the corner with the hot-looking jezebel, waving at me through the haze.....

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  66. I love it JK. If he plays well it's his natural ability but if he plays badly it's because BR doesn't use him properly. ;-)

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  67. you beat was just about to type that on here.. you beat me to it

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  68. he can't control the ball, don't dribble and i could add that having 66.7% of passing success while only passing the ball 33.3 times per games while only doing 1 long ball per games and 0.1 through ball per game prove that his passing is not that good despite not making difficult pass,

    the fact that he's dispossessed 1.9 time per game and make 2.3 bad ball control pretty much prove that he's bad at holding the ball...


    if you say that i've not prove the Benteke is not good with the ball at his feet then you're just refusing to see the facts.

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  69. Muhammad Ibrahim5:57 pm, July 16, 2015

    Maybe it was just a spoof story to force our hand. I know many Liverpool fans don't think Benteke is the right man, due to our style of play. Although if Manure do actually get him and he starts scoring for them, they may be nothing but regrets. I would rather us get Lacazette. I think BR sees Benteke as the guy to play the role Balotelli was bought in for, to lead the line, be strong, hold up the ball, wait for the runners, give us a bit of a breather when we under the 'cosh' and to play a direct ball to him if need be, for our passing game to start again.


    Not sure what we have to do to sell Allen, may be a petition to 10 downing st. Can't see us getting rid of BR, I think he will come good in the end, but his man love for Allen may see him burn.

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  70. Don't you go twisting his words now ;-)

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  71. i wouldn't dare...

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  72. Seconded. I think Dance has got this down to a tee and would have Laca begging to join us in no time.
    If Jamie is going to pay for the trip like he's offered to, we should probably accompany Dance though, just to make sure Ayre doesn't try and scupper the deal :)

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  73. Didn't know Austria produces any hahah

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  74. Ghost of Suarez7:40 pm, July 16, 2015

    If he can't handle the pressure of being a £32.5m player then he likely wouldn't be able to handle being a £25m plus player as again there is very little difference. The lad has played in the WC etc and is 24 not 19, so if you can't take that risk he can step up you could apply that logic to any other player signed from a lesser team in terms of reputation/competition. I might see your point if the fee represented some kind of record which might add more pressure but as it stands he is not even our record signing and in a world where 20 year olds go for £49m there isnt any extra pressure on him

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  75. Ummm...so how do we get you to Lyon for negotiations with Lacazette and his reps asap!?!? - *sigh* and I guess Ayre can go too...

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  76. Ghost of Suarez8:16 pm, July 16, 2015

    Would it have been better to haggle all summer, sign him for £27m at midnight on September 1st the have to integrate him into the team that had already been doing all their pre-season prep without him? No, of course not, as you would likely still be unhappy then....we have done what a big team should do and gone out to get the player early because it is better for our team on the field irrespective of a few million....we may have been more reluctant had we not just received a massive premium on Sterling, but the fact is we did and so we have what was necessary. End of.

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  77. yes, i would be disappointed either way, but even more so spending a lot of money on him. whether that is 20m or 30m, for me it is much too much. anyway, you seemed to have missed part of my point. although im disappointed (either way as you say), i will still making a point about how much money we actually have. dont you think that if we had the money we would have have bought him sooner, to allow integration to the squad before the pre-season? the fact that we are only bidding now, imo, seems that we couldn't afford him without the raheem sale, and therefore, we will only have a small amount of budget left after Benteke. i, like most would like to see a new DM, and feel that now, even if BR did suddenly changes his thinking and wanted one, we wouldn't even be able to afford it.
    and no - NOT 'end of' - my opinion, is my opinion whether you agree with it or not, so dont bark at me when you don't agree, as i kind of belittles your own opinion and argument.

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