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Liverpool Trigger £32.5 Million Release Clause For Christian Benteke

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Liverpool Trigger £32.5 Million Release Clause For Christian Benteke

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Premier League

The Telegraph's sports journalist Chris Bascombe is usually well briefed by Liverpool when they want to leak a story and I see the Guardian and BBC websites are also running with this so here we go.

The transfer merry go round is speeding up and quite what Tim Sherwood is going to do with £32 million burning a hole in his back pocket is going to be as fascinating a spectator sport as watching the ball being kicked around.

Leaving aside the fee, is Benteke the answer to Liverpool's striking woes?

He's prolific when fit and that's really the crux of the issue. If he passes a medical then we can take it that he is fixed because as they proved with the Wilfried Bony episode last summer Liverpool will not entertain signing a player who puts in an iffy medical.

Liverpool fans are going to see this as £10 million overspent on a player who is yet to fully fire on all cylinders but that's the point really.

Is this just a repeat of spending £35 million on Carroll so soon after receiving £50 million for Torres?

Carroll was a victim of circumstance and it's easy to ridicule the price tag with hindsight but he still has a lot of career left in him to prove himself if he can overcome his injury problems.

Signed on deadline day, Dalglish probably had in mind another John Toshack but lack of mobility did for him when Rodgers took over. Carroll still has an England career if he can get himself fit again.

So this time Liverpool again sell arguably their best player for £50 million and then promptly lash out £32 million on another player.

These are different circumstances though in every way.

Benteke is 24 so his best years are about three years away. City have paid £50m for a player who is still seven or eight years away from being the best he can be. Even then they may have to let him go early at age 26 on a free as he will probably let his five year contract run down. Call me cynical but I call it as I see it.

We are back where we are when we discussed the fee for Sterling but this is a much better deal for Liverpool in every way.

Benteke scored 12 goals in 12 games for Aston Villa as they finished the last campaign strongly and he showed Liverpool what they needed up front in the FA Cup semi final when Villa were the stronger team.

Coutinho, Fermino, Lallana – these are the players Liverpool will be relying on to supply ammunition and none of them is particularly muscular. In fact Benteke is a full 10kg heavier than Lallana and that type of muscle power is what Liverpool are missing in their front line. Balotelli would fill that spot if only he had the right attitude. Lambert was bought for that but sadly looked like a slug on a Sunday day out every time he played.

As for the fee?

It's a lot of money but it's far less than paying £50m for a 20 year old unproven on a five year contract and Liverpool might actually see the best days out of Benteke.

Strong, Muscular, with an eye for goal and under the right tutorship could become an even better player. Experienced in the Premier League so he knows exactly what is going down from the first whistle and we all know what can happen with expensive buys who are not used to the constant pressing and pace of the English game.

If he was playing for a foreign team then this signing would be a master stroke.

Get 250/1 that Liverpool win the Premier League and FA Cup. £10 wins £2,510.

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