Why Liverpool Should Not Sign Benteke

Why Liverpool Should Not Sign Benteke

Christian Benteke played a huge role as Aston Villa tore apart Liverpool in their Wembley FA Cup semi-final, but in the final, he was almost invisible as Arsenal thrashed the Villans and stormed off to with a 4-0 victory. After losing the semi-final against Aston Villa, Brendan Rodgers turned his attention to Benteke – as he usually does with any player that plays well against his own team.

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However, was Benteke’s performance against Arsenal good enough?

Arsenal’s dominance over the field was strong from the beginning, Villa’s flawed set up to contain the Gunners did not work and an extremely poor performance from N’Zogbia lead to Benteke being somewhat isolated up front. The long-ball game that sees him flourish was impossible as Villa couldn’t get the players forward to provide Benteke with the support he needed.

As a result, the striker had no choice, but to drop deep to help build play.

That is perhaps where Benteke showed his biggest flaws, as he was dreadful playing this role. His pace was very slow, due to which he had lack of possession. He became stagnated when off the ball. Also, he was absolutely negligent as far as the defence was concerned. As was evident on the field, even his team-mates grew increasingly frustrated at his inability as the game wore on. Benteke completed just 63.3 percent of his passes at Wembley, less than any other outfield player.

When it came to playing in areas that mattered—in each sides’ penalty area—Benteke was always overpowered by a fiery Mertesacker, with most of his nine duels won coming in wide areas. Basically, he was far from the strong centre-forward that Villa needed, and Rodgers seems to think can help Liverpool progress. Of course, it might sound unfair to write Benteke off based on one dismal team performance, but this display indicated his overall game—limited, and one-dimensional.

It appears as though it’s the Mario Balotelli situation all over again for Liverpool. Like Benteke, Balotelli survives when players run off him, and he likes to drop deep to help influence play. Like Benteke and Villa, when Liverpool are unable to play to Balotelli’s strengths—and arguably they never have—he is a non-essential figure; completely wasted in an unsuitable system.

Balotelli is likely to look for new opportunities this summer, and if Liverpool replace him with a player who would find himself in very similar situations having cost twice as much, both club and striker will have made a huge mistake.

Rodgers should instead look out for other players, and not sign on Christian Benteke as not only would that prove to evoke a sense of déjà vu, but also end up being disastrous for Liverpool.

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Comments

4 responses to “Why Liverpool Should Not Sign Benteke”

  1. Raghav Syal says:

    It’s true that he was woeful against Arsenal but if you’re judging a player by one game, you ought to look at our latest addition, Roberto Firmino’s stats against Paraguay. Similar to what all you’ve said.
    Benteke’s price may seem exorbitant but if signing a 24-year-old who’s scored 49 goals in 99 games isn’t stamped as signing ‘proven talent’, then what is?
    If Sherwood brought the best out of him, can’t Rodgers?

  2. Ritwik says:

    Finally, someone who sees reason. Thank god and hallelujah!!!
    this looks like Balotell all over again. It just amazes me how people do not see that. Liverpool need someone long the lines of a serling or sturridge (but less injury prone). It will be nothing by 30 mil down the tube.

  3. Seban Gaizel says:

    Liverpool FC’s interest on Benteke is absolutely ridiculous. When Balotelli joined from AC Milan he had a better resume to present. Experience with bigger clubs & in the champions league. Better goal record of 30 in 2013-14 season. He is more pacey than Benteke, similar in physique…But did he worked for us. The problem is with the so called Rodgers system. The high tempo passing game doesn’t fit gigantic strikers like the two we already have. Spending big money on Benteke will be madness unless the system changes. In fact if Rodgers is willing to alter the system for the sake of one striker , then why should we go for Benteke !!!! Balotelli – the bargain of last season is out there to show his class if the system favours him.

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Published by EPL Index
Updated: 2015-06-29 07:51:54
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