24 Sep 2015

Anfield Surprise: 61% of Liverpool fans wanted 'exciting' £30m striker instead of Benteke (site poll)

During the January transfer window, Liverpool were linked with a move for West Brom striker Saido Berahino, who was allegedly the club's top transfer target. The deal didn't go through, and six months later, Liverpool ended up signing Christian Benteke, which, according to Reds fans, was a mistake.

In his column for the Daily Mail this week, ex-Red Jamie Redknapp enthused:

"Tony Pulis has managed the [Berahino] situation very well. He is an exciting young player [and] now he just needs to keep his head down and play".

If things had gone differently, it's entirely possible that Berahino could've ended up at Anfield, and Liverpool fans appear to favour the 21-year old over Benteke.

I conducted a poll this week asking the question, and the results were emphatic:



The result represent a surprising vote of no-confidence in Benteke, who has started reasonably well at Anfield.

Berahino is arguably more suited to Liverpool's preferred style of play (whatever that is!), but who is the better performing striker over the last two completed seasons? Primary stat comparison:

Games

* Benteke: 62 | Berahino: 80

Minutes

* Benteke: 5106 | Berahino: 5210

Goals/Assists

* Benteke: 32 (1 every 159 mins) | Berahino: 37 (1 every 140 mins)

Chances Created (League Only)

* Benteke: 80 (1 every 63 mins) | Berahino: 47 (1 every 110 mins)

Berahino comes out on top in the minutes-per-goals/assists department, but to be honest, neither player's strike rate is particularly impressive. Also, under Brendan Rodgers, Berahino would've suffered the same fate as Benteke: isolation up-front as a lone striker.

Given the choice, I'd rather have Benteke, who brings the added bonus of height, and brute strength, which - when utilised correctly (probably by another manager) will be a huge positive for Liverpool.

Berahino will almost certainly get his big move at some point, and the transfer saga is sure to kick off again in January. West Brom reportedly want £30m, which is a ridiculous figure, but a player is worth whatever a given club is willing to pay, and I'm sure the Baggies will get close to that amount.

With his movement, opportunism, and general style of play, Berahino reminds me of Ian Wright, so Arsenal is arguably the ideal destination for him. Spurs, though, is a mistake. Like Liverpool, Pocchettino's team has no identity, and good players get lost at White Hart Lane.

Author: Jaimie K



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