Even before Raheem Sterling officially exited Liverpool FC for a fresh start at Manchester City, rumors were flying that Reds manager Brendan Rodgers was interested in signing Aston Villa striker, Christian Benteke. Now, less than two weeks after the July 12th announcement of Sterling's transfer, it has been confirmed that Liverpool complete Christian Benteke signing - for a cool £32.5 million.
Benteke now becomes the latest Liverpool acquisition in what has been a highly active summer transfer season for the football club. The Reds' other 2015 2016 signings include forwards Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino, midfielder James Milner, defenders Joe Gomez Nathaniel Clyne, and goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
Even without Benteke, it would have been intriguing to see what all of that new blood would do for Liverpool's performance during the 2015 2016 season. The soccer club struggled in 2014 2015, falling to sixth place in the Premier League, after a runner-up finish the year before. With guys like Milner and Ings donning the Liverpool jersey 2015 2016, fans were already predicting a better season very early on in this summer's transfer window.
However, there was no doubt that Liverpool still needed a little extra firepower. With Sterling transferring to Manchester City-not to mention this summer's departure of club legend Steven Gerrard, and last year's exodus of top goalscorer Luis Suarez-Liverpool FC have lost three key cogs of their offense in the past year. Signings, Milner, Ings, and Firmino will all help to counterbalance the losses, but the Reds still needed another striker with football star potential.
Benteke's Career Profile
Luckily for Rodgers, Liverpool FC were flushed with cash after Sterling's departure. Manchester City ultimately agreed to pay £49 million for the 20-year-old soccer star. And while the Reds had to pay 20% of that to Sterling's old club, Queens Park Rangers, the remainder still left plenty of funds to make a marquee offensive signing.
The result was a £32.5 million transfer agreement to sign Benteke from Aston Villa. That amount makes Benteke the second most expensive transfer in Liverpool FC history, after former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. Hopefully, Christian will fair better at Liverpool than Carroll, who scored just 11 goals for the team in his 58 appearances.
For now, it looks like Christian Benteke will be a great addition to the squad at Anfield. Since arriving at Aston Villa for the 2012 2013-after six seasons playing for various soccer clubs in Belgium-Christian has scored 49 goals in 100 overall appearances. In 2014 2015, he was the Premier League's ninth most prolific scorers, netting 13 goals. (Liverpool's top scorer, Steven Gerrard, only managed nine.) Back in 2012 2013, he did even better, tallying 19 goals and ranking fourth on the Premier League's leading scorers chart.
Even if Benteke manages similar numbers at Liverpool, he will add something to the football club. The Reds underperformed last season mostly because of their offense, only tallying 52 goals in 38 Premier League contests. Even with expectations kept at a minimum, Benteke, Milner, Ings, and Firmino-as well as Daniel Sturridge, who missed most of last season due to injury, but will hopefully be back on the pitch in September-should be able to boost Liverpool's goal count.
The higher hope is that Benteke will flourish even further at Anfield than he did at Aston Villa. The Belgium national team player had three strong seasons with the Lions, but he never had a great team behind him. Aston Villa finished 15th, 15th, and 17th in the Premier League during Benteke's three seasons.
The Reds, on the other hand, have finished seventh, second, and sixth in the past three football seasons. Bottom line, Benteke will have a better team at his back at Liverpool than he did at Aston Villa-something that will hopefully lead to higher goal tallies and better performances all around from the 24-year-old striker.
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