Christian Benteke’s time at Liverpool seems to gradually be coming to an end. The long running saga involving Crystal Palace, brief supposed reports about potential moves to half the Premier League and an out-of-form forward have made it a messy summer. A transfer would make sense for both parties, really, but Liverpool’s monumental demands are proving to be a hefty stumbling block.
Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino all sit firmly ahead of Benteke in the pecking order at Liverpool, despite the substantial fee the Reds paid out for the Belgian just last summer.
Jurgen Klopp has made it abundantly clear that Benteke will not be central to his plans and it seems unlikely that the Belgian will have a future at the club as a result. One of the troubles of changing managers is their different requirements for the squad and that is hitting Liverpool hard.
So where can Benteke move this summer?
Mame Diouf has largely been left on the bench, or played out of position, since Mark Hughes arrived at the Potters and it has left the Staffordshire outfit with somewhat of a striking shortage.
Joselu is yet to really have a run of games in that position and Bojan’s usage in the false nine role must be a rare occurrence. Of course, there’s big Jon Walters around too.
With the attacking talents at Hughes’ disposal, Benteke would be the ideal focal point. His back to goal prowess and aerially ability would be perfect for Arnautovic, Shaqiri and Bojan to feed off of.
Whether Romelu Lukaku stays or leaves, Ronald Koeman is going to need a new centre forward before the window is up.
Oumar Niasse has been one of the greatest flops in Premier League history, Arouna Kone still can’t really finish and Gerard Deulofeu is evidently better from a wide position.
It might not be a popular move to take a player from the other side of Merseyside, but Koeman could do a lot worse this summer.
Carlos Bacca and Alexandre Lacazette have been the main summer striking fetishes for West Ham. However, that’s not to say that Benteke has completely slipped off their radar altogether.
The concern may be that he possesses a – slightly – similar game to Andy Carroll. Bilic will want options and he will want two strikers who can set the team up to play in a completely different manner.
Even for the potentially extortionate rate Liverpool will demand, West Ham should be making swift moves.
The loss of Graziano Pelle is likely to hit Southampton hard.
The suave Italian towered over defenders with ease throughout his time in the Premier League and was one of the classier target men you are likely to see. Benteke is a different forward; he can run in behind and his game is based more on power than precision.
Saying that, Southampton should be considering Benteke in a partnership with Shane Long…
We’ve heard it all about Arsenal each and every summer. The transfer excuses, the failings to meet their real needs and the inevitable falling just short in the next league season.
This year it was a new striker at the top of the shopping list (again!). Marquee signings are required – apparently – but really they just need signings. Benteke could easily be the wildcard option for the Gunners this summer, a player who has proven he can succeed in the league and will cost about half the price of other potential targets.
There have been worse signings at the Emirates…