29 Apr 2015

No-Brainer? Liverpool to swap 'brilliant' star for 'world-class' £30m striker with 59 goals/assists in 96 games

On January transfer deadline day, Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert rejected a move to Aston Villa, who put in an eleventh hour offer to sign the ex-Southampton star. Since then, Lambert has barely featured for the Reds, and a move to Villa park may be back on the agenda this summer.

In February, Lambert admitted that he came 'very close' to signing for Villa, and further explained:

“The deal was agreed, but in the end, there just wasn’t enough time to say ‘yes’. It was too big of a decision to make in the short amount of time I had".

Well, Lambert - hailed this season as 'brilliant' by Adam Lallana - will have much more time to make a decision this summer. According to reports this week:

* Liverpool are planning a summer move for in-form striker Christian Benteke as part of an alleged £65 spending-spree.

* Lambert could move to Villa as 'part of the deal' to sign the Belgian.

Even with Lambert included in the deal, Benteke - described by recently deposed Villa boss Paul Lambert as 'absolutely world class - will still cost a pretty penny, with reports suggesting that the Midland club will demand a £30m transfer fee.

Lambert had plenty of chances to make a difference in the first half of the season, but his inability to score regularly contributed to Liverpool's poor pre-Christmas form.

In the second half of the season, Lambert has barely been given a chance during the second half of the season, but even if he'd played regularly, it's doubtful he would've weighed in with the goals to propel the Reds into the top four.

As such, letting Lambert go is arguably a no-brainer, but £30m for Benteke is (IMO) far too much:

* Since the appointment of Tim Sherwood, Benteke has smashed in 11 goals/assists in 11 games, but prior that, he contributed a meagre 3 goals/2 assists in 20 games.

* Last season, he grabbed 11 goals in 26 appearances, which isn't that great, either.

Benteke's change in fortunes suggests that he's a confidence player who doesn't have the stomach for a fight, rather than a leader who will step-up when the chips are down (which is what Liverpool need)

That said, Benteke's overall record for Villa is creditable:

* 46 goals/13 assists in 96 apps for Villa.
* Goal/assist every 1.6 games.

Perhaps Paul Lambert was the problem; like Rodgers, Tim Sherwood is (increasingly) renowned for his man-management skills, and if Sherwood can get the Belgian scoring on a regular basis, perhaps Rodgers can, too.

Still, £30m? In my view, it's a massive gamble.

Author: Jaimie K


  1. Not for me.

    we often get carried away with players that once did well against us.
    Inconsistent, and also thrive in a different environment to the one we have. Not that he's not a good player. But he's a player that scores in bursts

  2. Seconded. For that money there are better strikers available.

  3. 30 million plus Lambert for Benteke is absurd. I'd rather see 30 million spent on Lacazette.

  4. Oh god...., really.....?

  5. interesting what Glen Johnson said in his interview. an outgoing player demand marquee signings and a change at Liverpool. is this how all the players feel?

    at least someone at the club knows change is needed and no young unfinished players. if there young they need to be banging goals like Depay. not like Markovic who for 5 goals in 50 games for benfica should have cost £5m

  6. it will take 30 mil,,,, why would they sell him and there will be plenty of buyers believe me

  7. Nicolas Chamberlain11:54 pm, April 29, 2015

    Johnson sounded like a fan.
    But he was spot on. We need proven quality.

  8. Benteke also a monster though. lets not forget he plays for villa. but yes Lacazette for £30M, Pedro for £25M and Depay for £25M would be an incredible trio and more Lfc suited. pace and movement and end product.


    against qpr, i'd like us to play


    i know we wont though so i'd like to see


    Markovic best position is as the number 10. he has good eye for pass, but is nowhere near as good as Coutinho. but with us struggling for a striker, Coutinho may as well go up front with Markovic as the 10. i think it could work and he will have Ibe and Hendersons run to pick out.

    either way Sterling must be dropped. he is no good and is ruining the culture of LFC

  9. 40 goals/10 assists in 85 PL games is outstanding for a young player now 24, who joined the league at 22 and is playing for relegation battlers. Benteke definately top quality and id be all up for buying him. only not for 50m!

  10. I'm trying to figure out which striker this club should focus on getting to lead the line next year who's a proven goal getter that will cost under £ 30 mil. Anyone ? Benteke sounds just about right.

  11. I'm not overly convinced be Benteke and for 30 million? No way. What was Bony, 20 mil? No way he's worth 10 mil more

  12. Please do not use Johnson and fan in the same sentence.

  13. why would he want to join liverpool . if he leaves villa it will be to a champions league team.

  14. Oh my god.. Only 4 more possible matches for Steven Gerrard in Liverpool...

  15. Another injury plagued player, but he is what we need. Add a fit Lucas at DM, a coutinho twin (if he has one) next to him in AM, all financed by the sale of sterling.

  16. Madhav Chaudhari7:16 am, April 30, 2015

    IMO Benteke wouldnt cost that much, considering his willingness to join bigger club. Should be somewhere around 20m-25m. And If we can spend 25m on Lallana, then surely Benteke is a no brainer (at least he reached double figure mark in terms of number of goals).

    And I wonder if we can get any good striker at our price range (25m-30m). We need first team enforcement, and not any aspiring talent. We missed out on Bony. Benteke is another similar guy with good speed and physical strength. Premier league proven. Can work as a target man, with Origi/Stug/Sterling/Ibe working out wide.

  17. Wasn't he out injured for the first half of the season. . . . perhaps that's why he wasn't scoring then?
    Not sure he'd come to us now anyway. There seems to be a feelgood factor at Villa now whereas we have the feel of a club on the slide. . . . and at some point the money tap will be turned off if success keeps avoiding us as it has for the last few years.

  18. Madhav Chaudhari7:25 am, April 30, 2015

    Agree with you on Sterling. Also think that Can doesnt warrant a starting place. In last couple of games, taking a lot of time to pass, and quality of pass is very poor. Allen looked better than him . He still seems to be in the CB mode.

  19. Wow only £65 this summer for a spending spree(!)

  20. The Rodgers talk is annoying, but I get more annoyed by his lofty, ambitious talk than the ridiculous hyperbole he slaps his players with.

    It's not just Rodgers, it's people like Ayre too. Every single damn year, they assure us that Liverpool can attract the biggest and best talent. Their assertions are so misleading that you need the fast paced 'conditions apply' voice reading out the fine print when they finish speaking. If Liverpool can attract such talent, then where the f*** are they? Why are the fans always treated with the same anti climax in every transfer window? Why couldn't we bring in any marquee players with UCL bait?

    Rodgers was at it again yesterday- 'We will look for marquee players...as long as they're affordable and fit within our model'. Yep, there's the big fine print right there, except this time BR had the courtesy of reading it out.

    No marquee players are affordable, LFC will not sign any marquee players while they operate with this policy framed by that model of theirs!

  21. Not impressed with Rodgers man management personally.

  22. These are all good opinions but £30m is the price tag and Liverpool have zero bargaining chips. Benteke is considerably better than Lukaku, I can see him going to Chelsea

  23. There is a joke among the Villa fans; Man Utd offered £25m for Benteke, Liverpool offered £30m plus Lambert, Villa are said to be having a second look at that United offer!

  24. We could of got Benteke for as little as 16 mil last summer. He is a player I really like and as I said to my son we could of got more for selling him as we would with Baloteli

  25. Considering you yourself thought Villa would go down just 2 months ago you must see why Liverpool would be more attractive than a team battling relegation? No?

  26. I would rather offer the 25-30m to try get Lacazette, not saying he would come but if so a much better option.

  27. Last summer I was keen on getting Benteke or Bony and we ended up with Balotelli. This summer I'd be keen on Benteke or Lacazette, Ings, Illaramendi, Papadopoulos and Cech, with Toure, Johnson, Borini, Lambert, Aspas, Alberto and Balotelli to leave. I'm just a little frightened about who we might get...and that Balotelli might stay !

  28. Where's the joke? ;-)

  29. Target man? back to Carroll days are we? Villa either play long balls up to Benteke or ping balls into corners for him to chase.

    I that what you feel will fit in with our team, and take us to the CL?

    Origi is also a big man, surely we are more sophisticated than that

  30. 30m is 10-8 mill too much in my opinion. Decent player but not exactly my profile of player to honest. Villa adopted a route one methodology to maximise Bentekes attributes but I don't LFC to adopt that style of play. Even though Benteke himself has more in his locker than just being a target man. It will be interesting to see how it would turn out with Origi being in the team. Future Belgium front two?

  31. I know... So many memories. He's been a true legend

  32. Madhav Chaudhari10:24 am, April 30, 2015

    What sophistication? No current crop of players are sophisticated to breakthrough opposition defence in last 4-5 matches, not even much appreciated Countinho or pacy Sterling. West Brom were sitting back and we were not able to create chances. Hull pressed and pressed and didn't allow our sophistication to work.

    Had Benteke been our current squad, it would have at least given us chance in dead ball situation. CL place was there for taking. Dont remember when we scored of a corner last time?

  33. just another andy carroll

  34. I feel I need to jump a bit to Lambert's defence as you are not giving him exactly a fair evaluation. He started in 9 games with a tally of 2 goals in all competitions (5 in EPL, 2 in UCL & 2 in FA cup) before the new year. The goal scoring record is pretty bad, but LFC managed quite well in those games (5W 3D 1L). Most often Lambert was used as a panic sub late in the game to turn the deficit we had racked up already earlier in the game. This is perhaps not the easiest situation to score goals when opposition defence is already parking the bus (unless you are Solskjaer or something).

    Compared to Balotelli, Lampert has fared rather well as in the same time frame Balo managed to score only once in 11 games in all competitions and LFC managing a considerably poorer record than with Lambert in those games (3W 2D 6L). Also, neither of the player contributed assists but overall goal tally of LFC in the games that Lambert started was 14 and only 11 when Balo started.

    My argument here is that Lambert has been more of a victim of mismanagement rather than being just plainly poor in his games. Granted, he is much more one dimensional player compared to Balo, but he is also much more adept playing as a lone striker than Balo - the system that BR seem to favor above all. Moreover, the poor mentality of Balotelli seem to be nullifying all of his talent. In hindsight is easy to argue that we would probably got more out of our team by playing Lambert instead of Balotelli as the team seemed to get better results with Lambert than with Balotelli.

    In the end I am not trying to argue that we should not use Lambert as a leverage to get Benteke as I believe that Benteke has a potential to be an upgrade to all of our current strike force (including even Sturridge). Then again, what about trying to use the abysmal Balotelli as a bait to get bigger fishes?

  35. Case in the place12:48 pm, April 30, 2015

    Well that really is thoroughly blooming depressing, hadn't seen that and plaudits to you Sir for telling it like it is.
    I was really hoping for a sea change in the way we went about things this summer but that does indeed sound like the beginnings of the same stuck record.
    Unless it's addressed pronto, then it's probably also futile to further discuss the managers position, - unless the likes of Brendan, Klopp or Rafa are going to become 'King Kenny - player manager' themselves next season, things are unlikely to improve much.
    Come on FSG, we appreciate moneys tight but get looking down the back of the sofa and get us our marquee player already... and relax, rant over.

  36. Case in the place12:53 pm, April 30, 2015

    Aaliyah is that you?
    Sorry. Sorry, sorry, couldn't resist, poor taste/please delete if necessary.

  37. I'm almost convinced that a more experienced and accomplished manager would not have us in this predicament at the moment. Tactically, Rodgers has been a mess. I find it less probable that someone like Klopp would have landed us in such a precarious state pre-Christmas, so precarious that we needed to play rapid catch up with a makeshift formation that made Rodgers look like a genius. That's the thing about Rodgers at Liverpool, every time he stumbles upon a supposedly grand tactical solution, it either gets found out within the next 10 or so weeks, and/or it very considerably sacrifices our attack or defence. Last year our defence was exposed in the diamond, this year our attack is rather found wanting in the 3-4-2-1.

  38. For that money, probably strikers like Cavani. But is a player like Cavani really going to come to Liverpool?

  39. Case in the place2:23 pm, April 30, 2015

    With Brendan, and I know the case is there for Suarez being the main factor, I'm mostly stuck on (perhaps misguided) principles that tell me it's only fair to credit someone for the good times if your going to attribute them blame during the bad ones and further to that I just can't see it being fair to sack someone after, what could be, a temporary dip in form and not one they are entirely responsible for.
    That's why your initial post resonates with me because I do feel BR has been let down somewhat by FSG' lack of success in attaining the players he needed, Sanchez being the main one. Don't get me wrong if FSG brought in Klopp, I wouldn't be too upset, but if they are going to inflict Deja Vu on us all with this summers transfers, then I will be in floods of tears and have a sore forehead from repetitive contact with brick work.

  40. Bang you head on a brick wall hey...well look on the bright side, if Skrtel leaves then they'll be looking for another hard head.

    Even though it's hindsight, we probably would have concentrated on quality rather than quantity in the Summer. Our approach was supposedly meant to help us cope with UCL, but it didn't get us far in either competition. I think stumping up 20m for the likes of Markovic is absolutely stupid.

    So I assume you want marquee signings this summer...I just don't know if we can with this wage structure that's brought upon by FSG, but what the f*** do I know...

  41. That's right, nothing to see here. Benteke is over rated ahem....... Scores in fits and spurts...... Ahem.......looks good in a poor team..... Ahem. Not worth £30m..... Ahem. Stick to English talent like Andy Carroll, Bentekes not for you. Sure his stats look pretty decent and would look amazing had he not been hampered by two serious injuries, and sure, the fact that he's had to make so many of his goals for himself because he's been starved of supply shouldn't influence you that he's a world class striker, still very young, great on the deck, in the air, with his peak years ahead of him
    For anyone with a clue, Liverpool as a destination for Christian Benteke would just be a stepping stone to one of Europes elite clubs. You've had your fingers burned by Villa over Downing, best shop elsewhere.

  42. I thought you scousers knew your football. Kopite S is the only one so far that fits the stereotype.

  43. Didnt watch the semi final then where villa passed the ball around us like they were Barcelona...mixed balls into the corner with balls behind the defence ...exactly like we used to with Suarez...More sophisticated you say,you havent seen oirigi much either then.Were we sophisticated this season when buying Ballotelli ?Although would any of the other current top 4 want Benteke probably not,but with no carrot to offer he might be the best we can get and is far bettere than what is currently on show.

  44. B Rodgers or a New Manager needs to spend £42M on these two strikers in the summer: As we cannot rely on our injury prone striker D Sturridge or young D Origi.

    1: C Benteke Of A Villa for £18-£26M to replace R Lambert and M Balotelli this summer.

    2: L Vietto Of Villareal or P Aubamayeng Of B Dortmund to replace F Borini and I Aspas this summer.

    How B Rodgers has wasted £80M on these clowns over the years is shockingly bad management: J Allen, F Borini, L Alberto, I Aspas, L Markovic, R Lambert and M Balotelli.

    I am hoping and praying B Rodgers and the abyzmal scouting and transfer committee are shipped out permanently when the season ends.

  45. yes LFC would be but not if a bigger club comes in or say one with champions league.Also he might fancy another season at Villa to see how Sherwood gets on especially if they win the FA cup.

  46. Truth is, BR is compromising due to his lack of faith in his signings.Hence the tactical mess we've had for most part.

    Last season he was bold and had players in the form of Suarez and Stevie G giving their all and pushed others to their level.This season we had nothing of the sort.

    Ultimately, your signings will either make or break you as a manager and they've broken him. I would recruit wisely and let him have one more season without restraint or compromise.

  47. if u want top players you have 2 pay for them paying top money for players like lalana thats the problem benteke would be a fantastic signing even for 30 million

  48. I disagree. We made chances in pretty much all our games but had nobody to finish them. Of course there are times when a big man up top can score from set pieces, but I don't think throughout the season that we should play like that, and as I said , Origi is decent in that regard anyway

  49. We are not set up for a Carroll or any other 'big target man'

    most teams would gobble that tactic up, even Stoke have abandoned it...

  50. I don't know man. The diamond formation was something he kind of stumbled upon last season too, and that was never going to be a long term solution either.

  51. Any reason why he was overlooked for Origi in the World Cup ?

  52. Mike Aitcheson3:00 am, May 02, 2015

    Have you kept count of how many players you've demanded we buy so far?

    It must be over 50

    Alberto and Aspas were poor, but they were less than £7m Lambert was only £4m. Borini I agree with, but we should make most if not all our money back on him. Allen was 5-7m overpriced but clown? no way.

    That leaves Markovic, a 20 yr old in a new league- I'm not having that. No way can you expect the best from him yet, and Balotelli, well he was a gamble pure and simple, which failed, so ok include him

    So that's £34m over 3 years wasted. And that excludes any fees we get when we sell

    Crime of the century.

  53. Mike Aitcheson3:09 am, May 02, 2015

    10 goals this season, 11 last season, missed 1/3 rd of both seasons injured?

    Even if he didn't, with 25/26 appearances a season, he scores a goal every 2.5 games on average. That gives a total of 15 goals if he played the full 38 game season

    £30m? Seriously?

  54. Mike, Our squad has been abyzmal for over 7 years now, we have more dead wood average players than Class Quality ones.

    We need in 6-7 top class in and 2 Marquee signings in this summer whilst the 12 dead wood average players we have on club we have on books need to be shipped out if we are to compete with Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Man United for the title year in year out from start and to the very end.

    We are so far away:

    In our current squad only Coutinho, Sterling and Lallana could get it those clubs above us.

    Our Problem is we lack spine and class quality cover and competition for places at the club:

    We need A Top Class GK to compete with S Mignolet and to keep Mignolet on his toes week in week out ( A Begovic Of Stoke for £10-£14) Achieveable, Not a De Gea or a Courtois but the level below.

    Better than B Jones and S Mignolet

    We need a top class CB who can compete with M Skrtel, So Lovren and Sakho can compete with one another as they are both left footed centre backs ( T Alderwierld Of A Madrid for £10-£14M)

    Better than K Toure and S Coates both together

    Not and Expensive Hummels type Centre back

    We need a Athletic Mobile Defensive Enforcer/Midfielder who can protect back four very well and breaks up play and stops oppositions best attacking players playing ( M Schneiderlin Of Southampton Or Lars Bender Of Bayer Leverkusen for £20-£25M ) Better than L Leiva and J Allen by a country mile

    Marquee signing: Priority One:
    We need a world class CM to replace the class quality we have never replaced X Alonso and now also S Gerrard: T Alacantara Of Bayern Munich Or M Verratti OF PSG for £25-£35M ( One of these young world class Maestros should be brought to club this summer and side should be built around them)

    Marquee Signing: Priority: Two:
    We need some class quality competition for R Sterling out wide: M Depay Of PSV for £20-£25M to keep R Sterling on his toes and if he is not cutting it to keep him on the bench. M Depay is better than L Markovic and L Alberto together

    We need some class quality competition for J IBE on the out wide: Y Bolaise Of Crystal Palace for £10-£14M to keep J IBE on his toes.

    We need a mobile Powerful Goal Scoring Centre forward who can link up play well and bring others into play who is also an aerial threat: C Benteke Of A Villa should be brought to club for £20-£24M plus R Lambert

    C Benteke Would suit club better than M Balotelli and R Lambert and score more goals than both of them

    We need a mobile pacey quick striker who can stretch defences who can come in and compete with D Sturridge and keep him on his toes and take his chance and if he scores when D Sturridge is out then D Sturridge should be made 2nd Choice striker behind him ( L Vietto Of Villareal or P Aubamayeng Of B Dortmund should be brought to club for £11-£16M)

    Those 8 players : 6 are achieveable, the two Marquee signings should be made to show clubs ambitions and to make serious statement of intent.

    Those 8 class quality ABOVE players should replace these 13 players in summer:

    And club would stop being a top 4-8 club and start regularly challenging to be a top 1-3 club in the Premiership:

    B Jones GK S Coates CB K Toure CB

    G Johnson RB A Wisdom RB

    J Enrique LB J Clue/Useless Allen CM

    L Alberto AM LW / RW L Markovic
    F Borini FD I Aspas FD R Lambert FD

    M Balotelli FD