6 Jul 2015

Anfield-bound? Lawro claims 'world-class' £32m attacker wants Liverpool transfer. LFC odds-on favourites to seal the deal

Of all the strikers currently linked with Liverpool, Aston Villa's Christian Benteke seems to be the most polarising option, and from what I've seen, many Reds fans a dead-seat against the move. Last week, an alleged Anfield 'insider' claimed that Liverpool are 'very close' to signing Benteke, and Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson has today insisted that the big Belgian is capable of fitting in at LFC.

According to Sky Sports, Benteke - who has a £32m buyout clause in his contract - is 'odds-on' favourite to sign for Liverpool.

For some fans, this is extremely bad news, with many fans insisting that Benteke - like Andy Carroll, and Rickie Lambert - is a bog-standard target-man, who isn't capable of fitting into Liverpool's fluid, high intensity pressing game.

Lawro disagrees with this, though, and in his column for the Liverpool Echo today, he claimed that Benteke 'fancies the move' to Liverpool, and outlined why the striker will fit into Rodgers' preferred style of play:

"We all know that his strength is in the air, and he could play on his own up front and operate in a 4-3-3. It’s all about different options, not just from game-to-game, but changing within matches now, which seems to be a big thing within the Premier League".

In my case, Lawro is preaching to the converted as I'm convinced that Benteke is capable of being a smash-hit at Anfield...but only if he remains consistently fit.

In the last two seasons, Benteke has suffered four separate injuries, and spent a grand total of 214 days on the sidelines, and with Daniel Sturridge repeatedly injured, it's arguably irresponsible to spend £30m+ on another striker with a patchy recent injury history.

Why take the risk?


Are we to believe that Liverpool's scouting network is incapable of finding a top-class striker without a concerning injury history? If that's the case, the entire network needs to be sacked as it's clearly not fit for purpose.

If Liverpool pursue Benteke - dubiously described by ex-Villa boss Paul Lambert as 'absolutely world-class' - then the transfer fee should be no more than £25m (IMO) to compensate for the recent injury worries.

Of course, I'd rather see Liverpool sign Alexander Lacazette, but there doesn't appear to be much hope of landing the coveted French striker.

As such, Liverpool fans should probably get used to the fact that Benteke will be the next striker to sign for Liverpool, and it'll probably be for an extortionate transfer fee.

Again, though, if Benteke remains fit, I believe he's capable of being a 20-goal a season striker for the Reds.

Author: Jaimie K



55 comments:

  1. if we really sign him for 32m he'll be under intense pressure from minute one.
    Thinking about Rodgers inability to coach his team how to play to the strenghts of a target man, I higly doubt Benteke would hit the ground running.


    As such I think Liverpool should stay clear of singing Benteke and focus on a player that is more suited to 'our' style of play.

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  2. Brilliant analysis. If I could upvote twice I would

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  3. Yep.hes good in the hoof it upfield style. That's not our style.i hope rodgers doesn't do another balotelli signing

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  4. I agree with your post completely but I don't think you can include Torres in that list of strikers. Torres was only seriously lethal for his first 18 months. After that he became somewhat of a joke. It's like having Harry Kane on the list on the back of last season.
    Torres was undoubtedly one on the top strikers in the world in his first season for us but post-injury he was no longer a top premier league striker.
    Just a big reputation and a bigger price tag

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  5. It looks likely that Benteke will join. If he flops then it is yet another Carroll scenario. Overpay and lose a whack load of £.

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  6. Oh he will. And we will suffer as a result

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  7. If we are going to spend 32 big ones then surely there has to be better options out there!

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  8. We already know that we are losing the whacky Sterling ;-)

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  9. same happened with Torres and Carroll

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  10. Why do you think he only has the ball hoofed up to him? Hes got a lethal shot and Ive seen him dribble about too, Wehn he played with Agbonthewhore there was constant hold up play and 1-2's sometimes you lot hearan oppinion and thats it lead the sheep onto the truck

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  11. What ever happened to Guiseppe Rossi?

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  12. Apparently he's at Fiorentina. He's only played 22 games in 2 years.

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  13. We could already have a ready made target man in Origi. The kid is 6'2 why spend €45m on another target man? He wouldn't suit us and would end up being at best a plan b ala Lambert and Ballotelli.... Even though Ballotelli has better ball control.
    If we have €45m to spend why not put in a bid for Reus, lacazzete, greizmann? Mobile forwards who will make runs in behind and are comfortable moving out to the wing and making things happen rather than waiting around in the middle.
    Personally I don't think any of them would come to us so who are the most similar players that would be (almost)in the same bracket?
    Well Icardi is the next 'big name' to jump out. With inter after missing out on Europe and looking to rebuild would they snuff their nose at €35-45m?
    The next name that jumps out at me is kevin volland. He's already got a working relationship with firmino and he would suit or system. And although hoffenheim don't need to sell I think they would find another €25-30m hard to turn down!
    If we go for volland then that would leave us with €15-20m left to spend.... El Sharaawy has been pushed down the pecking order at Milan by the signings of Cerci Menez and Bacca. He's had his injuries right enough but don't forget this kid was well on his way to the top of the game 3 years ago and at only 22 he's got plenty time ahead of himself to rediscover his form.... Ontop of that Rodgers would be a great manager to help him along with that, and develop him into something more complete.

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  14. Fitness is all I worry about with benteke. He is very good and not a post like people think.

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  15. Hope we'll get rid of Lambertolli before signing another striker, because Borini look like he's about to do like last season and refuse every possible transfer (and his agent dared to complain about his situation), and nobody seems to be interested in Balotelli, so bringing another striker while we still have 6 on the books would be stupid.

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  16. I doubt that very much ;-)

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  17. Doesn't your statement ignore the fact that Benteke scored 23 goals in 39 appearances (all competitions) in his first season for Villa, 2012-13? That's long before he played under Sherwood. I understand that one third of his non-penalty goals are from headers but if you watch his highlight reels it becomes apparent that a lot of those headers are from corners. We need more goals from corners and Benteke could help with that. But he is far more than just someone who canb score corners. For once, (and perhaps the first time), I agree with Jaimie: if Benteke can stay fit he can be a huge hit for us.

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  18. Origi's goal-scoring stats tell you exactly why we need to spend on a proven goal scorer whatever Origi's strengths. It is perfectly possible that Origi will develop into an excellent striker but his goal scoring record suggests that he's a long way off that at present.

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  19. I intended that reply for Case who actually repeated exactly what I wrote. No wonder you said Huh????? Sorry my friend.........

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  20. Can't wait, I think Benteke is the closest thing to Drogba in the premiership. He's much more than a target man & I like the pragmatic approach of the transfer committee. Benteke represents the best we can get & I believe he will help us towards top 4.

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  21. He's a targetman, simple as that. Yes of course he can be played in our system and would probably score 10 goals a season, but he's most effective when used as a target man. Why waste 32 million on benteke when there are much better, much cheaper alternatives who are most effective in our system, such as son or Volland, or just stick with ings who I'm rather excited about. Benteke is the biggest waste of money since Andy Carroll and I hope Rodgers and the transfer committee realise this soon.

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  22. Totally endorse Jamie's analysis of Benteke. He is not just a target man; that label seems to be the latest mantra, as the Rodgers out shout needed replacing by another band wagon. If we sign him and he scores goals and BR steers us in the right direction then there is going to be some pie eaters on this site.

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  23. There are far better, far more cost effective options available, such as son or Volland who suit our style of lplay. I agree benteke is probably the closest thing to drogba, but then again when have we ever played with a drogba type striker? Our best strikers throughout history have never been drogba like targetmen, they have been players like Torres, Suarez, fowler, Owen, sturridge. Not one is even close to drogba.

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  24. He may not be just a targetman but he is. Out effective when used as a targetman, as his form since sherwood took over and used him as a targetman compared to the previous 18 months shows. Why not spend money on a striker who is actually most effective in our system such as son or Volland, or we could just use ings who imp is a better striker.

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  25. If LFC get Benteke then all the good,the guy has to be given a chance to prove himself,as he is a good player and could be a hit for LFC.If not then it's time to kick B.R out of Liverpool as far as we can,and ask for money back on horrendous transfer deals.

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  26. I will still emphasize that Rodgers didn't buy or nominate Firmino as a transfer target... Rodgers buys players who don't meet with the standards expected of players coming to liverpool....coming to the Benteke issue...i remember when Benteke said he wanted to play for a champions league team...why choosing us now ..what is the lure??

    That said..if we pay thirty something for Benteke...then the transfer department should be sacked A.S.A.P...I don't see the rational of buying 1 unproven player,whereas that amount can get us a solid DM and a decent striker...

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  27. Rodgers buys players who don't meet with the standards expected of players coming to liverpool.... to the Benteke issue...i remember when Benteke said he wanted to play for a champions league team...why choosing us now ..what is the lure??

    That said..if we pay thirty something for Benteke...then the transfer department should be sacked A.S.A.P...I don't see the rational of buying 1 currently unproven player,whereas that amount can get us a solid DM and a decent striker...

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  28. Another excellent player cruelly curtailed by injury

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  29. villa fan here i think your all underestimating benteke, he will score twenty plus goals wherever he ends up playing its not just lump it in the box that he thrives on, sherwood identified that to get the best out of him was to get the ball to him either over the top through the middle or from the wings and those last 15 games saw a smile back on his face. but i think that this speculation is media fed they seem desperate to get this move going i think as of dinner time today the only inquiry was from utd and that was before the final as to whether the buy out was firm

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  30. But target men don't need to bang in the goals. Just hold up the play lay it off to team mates and get in the box and create anxiety among defenders.
    About Origi though he's still only 19 and was for the most part played out wide left for a team that struggled in general last year.
    Anyway my main point is that we don't use target men... Not to there best capabilities anyway. A running forward who can do damage when the ball is played into space will work better for us rather than a forward who can only work if the ball is played is played directly to him(either in the air or to his feet)

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  31. For me man its not his ability that's in question it's his all round game?
    What's he like pressing wise because I for one would like to see us return to a high pressing game. And with the likes of firmino Henderson and Milner it looks like we're going to go that way again.
    I didn't see Benteke pressing much but you'd know better than me was it purely just him not pressing or was the team as a whole told to sit back and break on the counter?

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  32. Villas is good but untested in the premiership. I realise Benteke is expensive but considering the fact he won't need to acclimatise to the league. That's priceless! Of course if the price can be lowered great, but I'm quite optimistic about Benteke. The fact that we've never had a Drogba type means not very much. Drogba had the pace to play off the last defender, was great on the ground or the air & gave Chelsea so many options. Options we've not had in a long long time. Heskey was a poor man's Drogba & was good for lfc contrary to popular belief. Benteke will give us options, that brute force mixed with athleticism which I believe will complement the midfield.

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  33. Yeah I suppose I'm more referring to the ability of the players at their peak. In terms of striking effectiveness, Torres was up there with the best we've seen, but totally get your point that he didnt spend too long at that peak, unlike the others I mentioned.
    I dont miss Torres, but I miss that Torres.

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  34. Yeah no worries mate, I wasnt having a go or anything, I would personally end the comparisons between Benteke and Drogba after 6'3", big, strong strikers. Drogba was a machine, immense physical power, great at creating chances for himself and absolutely prolific. Benteke has got physical power and is fairly good in front of goals, but just not near the same level as big Didier.
    Dont get me wrong, I couldnt stand Drogba, but what a player.

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  35. voice of reason2:34 am, July 07, 2015

    paul lambert specialized in long ball football btw

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  36. I agree that Benteke can be effective in a long ball strategy as he is undoubtedly good at holding the ball up but online you can faind all the goals he has scored for Villa. I think you'd be surprised how few of these have come from long ball situations. He has more to offer than just heading the ball in the net or just holding the ball up.

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  37. Yes I agree with you about Origi only being 19 and the implication that he will develop his game further and get better. I think him and Danny Ings are go to fight it out for the 3rd/4th striking berth. Vying for numbers 1 and 2 we need Sturridge and a similarly prolific striker. Benteke can do that job.
    I agree that there might be players who I would prefer. Reus or Lacazette spring to mind but as you suggest those players aren't going to come to us at the current time. Benteke is one of the best players we will get in our current standing.
    Whoever is bought needs to be prolific. That is why people like El Sharaawy or Volland are non-starters. You say that we have a poor history of using target men. We have an even worse history when bringing players in from Italy- maybe Icardi would prove to be an exception to this but Serie A does seem historically to be quite a poor training ground for the Premier League.

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  38. Kevin Volland scored 8 goals in 32 appearances last season. He is just not prolific enough. I know that he played 19 of those appearances wide right but his stats didn't change much whether he was used through the middle or out wide. Simply put, we are not looking for another attacking midfielder/ second striker, we want someone who can really bang them in and that is what Benteke is capable of doing.
    As regards Danny Ings I think the telling thing is that he has asked to have a high number on his shirt because he doesn't want the added pressure of being considered one of our top strikers straightaway. That may make good sense but it also reveals a player who wants a little time to adapt to being at such a big club, who hopes to sneak up on the rails without the pressure of being the assumed front-runner. We need someone who is happy to be number 1 or number 2 striker from the outset.

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  39. Hurley, pressing is undoubtedly his biggest weakness.

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  40. Are their decent striker's out there ?

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  41. Benteke is not the same as Lambert or Carrol. Yea they might have a similar style, but Benteke is a lot more effective.
    Also, I signed Lacazette on Football Manager, he's been rubbish so far.
    There is a lot of negativity on this site at the moment around the signings and potential signings and I don't think its really all that fair.
    To be bashing on 'kids' that have signed is just unnecessary. Clubs will always sign youth players it happens every where and has gone on for ages.

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  42. He turned us down some years back. We want someone who wants to plays for us us. Sorry Llorente. Would rather we chase Lacazette or Rondon. Also, not Benteke

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  43. They do not seem to like travelling outside England. They They mostly enjoy the flights that go southwards past london...to southampton.I think the flights cant take off if they are facing east towards mainland europe

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  44. To be bashing on 'kids' that have signed is just unnecessary. Clubs will
    always sign youth players it happens every where and has gone on for
    ages.


    I must agree with you , I find it strange that LFC gets so much negitive comments all the time ,surely all clubs have a youth system ?

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  45. These are teenagers trying to make a career for themselves, and before they've even kicked a ball for a team people are already taking shots at them.
    I don't want to read articles about how underwhelming a youth signing is. It's not needed and its not fair on the players.

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  46. the whole team never pressed on that day that will live in infamy for many fans, of the two main culprits one has joined everton the other had his release clause leaked to the media and is probably off to city today but i agree benteke can be left isolated up front on his own but even then he will occupy two defenders if not he will punish you just look at the goals he scored against you they are not one offs or flukes but as i said for some reason the press are having a wankfest over this rumour

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  47. Just because a player is tall it doesn't make them a target man!! Jeez, the stupid people are definitely out in force whenever an article regarding Benteke comes out.

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  48. And throughout history none of the forwards you mention have helped us to win a Prem title.
    Lots of people seem to want style over substance, referring to our style of play.
    A style of play that isn't clearly defined and one which has achieved sod all.

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  49. Could not agree more ,well said !

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  50. ofcourse..and its obvious they aren't doing their job...

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  51. Absolutely correct. However, as long as such articles engender website hits and advertising revenue then we will continue to see them. Not knocking JK at all as I am old and wise enough to make my own choices regarding whether to read/comment. The reality is that due to our history and lack of major success, Liverpool will always be a very popular talking point.

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  52. Liverpool's transfer business so far this window has been promising. But it has one major weakness: we have not started with filling the absolute priority position. Yes, we needed a right back. Yes, we needed a centre-midfielder. Yes, we needed some back up strikers. But if we get to the end of this transfer window without signing a 20 goal a season striker then the transfer window must be viewed as a failure. This was the same mistake we made last year. Everyone knew that the one position we absolutely had to fill was the number 1 striker berth vacated by Luis Suarez.
    At that time we represented an appealing proposition for many strikers out there. We were in the Champion's League and our 100 goal season had highlighted that we were an attacking side which would be an ideal scenario for any potential offensive recruit. And yet we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We seemed to hesitate to identify the right target as if we were frightened by the magnitude of the task of replacing the outgoing genius, we spent too long on wild goose chases and penny-pinching. We got unlucky with one potential recruit, Loic Remy, who after protracted negotiations ended up failing the medical. Then we panicked and bought a player who we swore we would not buy: Mario Balotelli. We must avoid doing that again.
    If Benteke is our top priority striker then the difference between twenty five million (allegedly our maximum price for him) and thirty two million (Villa's minimum price) is simply not worth arguing about. With the stakes so high, seven million in the wider scheme of things is nothing. If Benteke is our target then we should get him through the door sooner rather than later. Today's stories are that we are now after Jovetic (highly unlikely) and Lacazette (if only....). I believe that these stories have been invented and leaked to encourage Benteke to agitate for a move or to encourage Villa to recognise that 25 million is not bad business for a striker with two years left on a contract that won't be renewed. Filling that centre-forward position is just too important to get caught up with such penny pinching. If Lacazette is a serious proposition and we have reason to believe thar he might come to us then we should go full steam ahead on that but what we must avoid is getting caught up in hesitation and penny pinching.

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