Most fans’ hearts drop when they hear that their club are interested in Christian Benteke.
In one way, their feelings are not without foundation, but in another, the general footballing public have forgotten why Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool shelled out £32.5m for him in 2015.
In a move from the Belgian league to Aston Villa for around €7m, Benteke joined Aston Villa in 2012 and in his first season made a definitive impact by scoring 23 goals. Speculation about his future led him to sign a new four year deal at Villa Park. In 89 appearances, Benteke scored 42 goals and it’s therefore not surprising that Liverpool were alerted.
However, since his move, in a complete mirroring of Andy Carroll before him, his career has stumbled and fallen whilst at Anfield and now the Belgian looks as though he will leave Klopp’s revolution. Nine league goals, 10 in all competitions for the Reds and more time spent on the bench speaks volumes.
West Ham and now Chelsea are being linked to the confidence sapped striker, but who should Chelsea really recruit?
Here are FOUR superb, high profile alternatives:
It’s been made known for a while that the Uruguayan striker is unhappy at PSG. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic frequently leading the line in the French side’s attack, Cavani has regularly been played out of position or sat on the bench. 19 goals last season shows his quality even though he was never first choice. It’s time to leave France, even though ‘Ibra’ has, too, and Chelsea would be perfect.
On the back of a record breaking season in Serie A with Napoli, Higuain is definitely catching the eyes of many European clubs. The Argentine forward was probably the deadliest striker anywhere last season and scored 36 goals in 35 Serie A games.
Arsenal have held a long-term interest in the striker, but now the 28-year-old is being looked at by Premier rivals Chelsea. Any deal could be expensive for his age with the Italians set to demand huge money for their star man.
Any deal for Morata is complicated by the fact that Real Madrid want to activate his £23m buy-back clause before selling him on for a profit. Real value the Spaniard at around £40m and of course the 23-year-old will play in the European Championship, where, like any decent player, his value could increase with a successful tournament.
It’s possible that Conte could deploy Morata through the middle on his own or as part of a front two, but the club face strong competition for the Spaniard from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Belgian striker is a good alternative, but with Everton slapping a price tag of £65m on the player, it could be off-putting to Conte. Having sold Lukaku to the Toffees for £28m in 2014 after a season long loan, the London club have had to watch the player develop into a wanted man this summer. 18 league goals, 25 in all competitions last season means this player is worth every penny, but if he has a good European Championship, then watch his valuation rise.