11 Jan 2016

Replace Sturridge? Klopp keen to sign 'exciting' £30m striker who wanted Liverpool transfer in Jan 2015

A year ago, Liverpool were heavily linked with a move for West Brom striker Saido Berahino (who was allegedly desperate for a move to Anfield), and with Jurgen Klopp reportedly keen to sign a new striker, Berahino - hailed by Jamie Redknapp as an 'exciting player' is once again on the Reds' transfer radar.

According to Sky Sports today:

"Liverpool have entered the race to sign Saido Berahino and [Jurgen Klopp] could make a late swoop for the Baggies frontman".

With Daniel Sturridge's ongoing injury problems, a new striker who fits Liverpool's style of play is an absolute necessity, and Berahino appears to be a better fit for LFC than Christian Benteke.

However, over the last 3.5 seasons (2012-2015, plus the first half of the current season) Benteke is the superior performing striker.

Primary stat comparison:

* Benteke: 56 goals/16 assists (72) in 123 games (goal/assist every 137 mins)

* Chances Created: 148 (1 every 56 mins)

* Berahino: 41 goals/13 assists (54) in 114 games (goal/assist every 134 mins)

* Chances Created: 68 (1 every 106 mins)

If things had gone differently, Liverpool might've signed Berahino instead of Benteke, and one thing's for sure: Liverpool fans favour the 21-year old over the Reds' £32m summer signing. Indeed, a recent site poll emphatically illustrated the fan preference for Berahino:

Despite isolation, and a severe lack of quality service, Benteke has contributed 10 goals/assists so far this season (one every 144 minutes), which compares favourably to many other strikers in the Premier League.

Berahino is currently on 6 goals/assists for the season, which equates to one every 153 minutes, though, to be fair, he averages only 48 minutes of pitch time per game this season.

Given the choice, I'd rather have Benteke, who - despite his detractors - has a consistent record of contributing goals/assists. Benteke also creates significantly more chances than Berahino, a quality that shouldn't be undervalued.

Plus, West Brom reportedly want £30m, which is a ridiculous figure, and it makes little sense to spend that money on a striker with worse stats than Benteke.

If Liverpool are to spend £30m on a striker, it should go on the best quality money can buy, i.e. a European-experienced striker with significantly better end product than Berahino.

Author: Jaimie K


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