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Darren Lewis: Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool can’t win

24 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis: Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool can’t win

Some people actually believe Christian Benteke is not good enough for Liverpool. The Belgian is ready to make his doubters eat their words...

Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool would have been battered had Chelsea or Manchester United signed Christian Benteke ahead of them.

The Reds, who had had the Belgian striker as their no.1 target for some time, would have been accused of dithering in the transfer market.

Of not being able to attract the Premier League big-hitters. Of deluding themselves with their designs on the top four.

But Benteke has gone to Anfield. The club have shown they do mean business by triggering his £32.5million release clause.

Liverpool do now have another striker who, if he stays fit, will give them the cutting edge they have been crying out for in front of goal. Tottenham fans would have loved Benteke at White Hart Lane.

And yet still some people are not convinced. In this day and age, where you really can’t please all of the people all of the time, that is – you’d suppose – to be expected.

But really, what is the problem?

Benteke banged in 19 goals in 37 League appearances for Genk before he was snapped up for just £7million by Aston Villa three years ago. Bargain.

For the Midlands club he scored a total of 42 goals in 89 League appearances.

In his first campaign at Villa Park he hit 23 goals in all competitions.

Last season, even allowing for the fact that he started in October after eight months out with a ruptured achilles, he still ended up with more goals than Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert put together.

For Belgium Benteke has scored at every level from Under-17 upwards. He is quick, strong in the air and – as we have seen so often – a one-man battering ram.

Liverpool know first-hand how devastating his finishing can be as he has scored against them five times in his last six games.

So again, what’s the problem? Benteke would have been welcomed with open arms at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or even Arsenal where he would have given the Gunners powerful strength in depth.

So it is fascinating to think that some people actually believe he is not good enough for Liverpool.

It seems as though, in some quarters, he is being judged on patches in the past where a combination of things have affected him.

Benteke was out between March and October last year after rupturing his achilles. He took his time last season to regain his fitness and form.

His critics say that he blows hot and cold. But he has has been helping a poor Villa team fight relegation for two seasons in a row now. No wonder he has been disillusioned at times.

Spurs came in for him two years ago but didn’t follow through with their interest after he had put himself in the firing line by slapping in a transfer request.

Once he gets his head down, though, he scores goals. Lots of them.

And now that he is at a club the size of Liverpool, with better players, European football, ambitions to finish among the big boys and designs on silverware, he is far more likely to be settled.

(In fact, if he hits the ground running to win over the sceptics his goals might just inspire Daniel Sturridge off the treatment table to fight for his crown as Liverpool’s top man.)

As for the idea that Benteke might not be suited to the short, sharp, incisive passing at Anfield, well the Belgian national team – with Eden Hazard, Radja Nainggolan, Kevin De Bruyne and Steven Defour – don’t exactly lump it do they?

Eyebrows were raised and most people were underwhelmed last month, let’s be honest, when Liverpool signed Danny Ings.

Burnley’s England Under-21 striker really does have something to prove to the people convinced he will struggle to make the step up in class.

Benteke is a different matter entirely. He has been angling for a step up in class for some time now.

Now he is ready to make his doubters eat their words.

16/1 – Christian Benteke to be the Premier League’s top goalscorer