14 Mar 2016

Redknapp raves: £40m attacker Liverpool tried to sign is 'sensational'. Better than Benteke?

During the summer of 2013, Liverpool were regularly linked with a move for ex-Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, but for whatever reason, Brendan Rodgers went cold on the deal. Two years later, Liverpool signed fellow Belgian Christian Benteke for £32m (£4m more than Everton paid), and at the time, I argued (using detailed stats) that Lukaku would've been the the better buy. That's certainly proving to be the case this season, and ex-Red Jamie Redknapp has joined the growing list of Lukaku's admirers.

After watching Everton beat Chelsea in the FA Cup, Redknapp enthused:

"It was great to see Lukaku reminding us all of what he is capable of. That solo goal was sensational and I wouldn’t rule him out of maybe sneaking the golden boot in the league as well".

Did Liverpool sign the wrong Belgian striker? Let's look at the stats this season:

Benteke: 8 goals/5 assists (13) in 33 apps (One every 153 mins)

Lukaku: 26 goals/5 assists (31) in 36 apps (One every 102 mins)

This season it's no contest, but Lukaku - described last week by West Ham boss Slaven Bilic as a 'monster' striker -left Benteke in the dust during the 2013-14 season, too:

Benteke: 11 goals/3 assists (14) in 28 apps (One every 163 mins)

Lukaku: 20 goals/7 assists (27) in 48 apps (One every 130 mins)

£40m-rated Lukaku has great pace, power, good close control, technique, balance, and the ability to bully defenders into submission (as Liverpool have discovered several times), but if he'd ended up at Anfield instead of Goodison Park, would he currently be suffering the same fate as Benteke?

If Lukaku can score 26 goals for Everton in one season, then (in theory) he should be able to do the same at Liverpool, but Benteke grabbed 49 goals for Villa 101 games (basically one every two games), and he's struggled to replicate that form at Anfield.

Lukaku has one very big advantage over Benteke, though: he's very rarely injured (only 8 games missed through injury in 6.5 years), and combined with his superior minutes per goals/assist ratio, it's clear that Lukaku is the superior signing.

Author: Jaimie K


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