The £32.5 million arrival of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has added a much-needed physical presence to Liverpool’s forward line. Here Press Association Sport looks at the attacking options manager Brendan Rodgers now has at his disposal.
The big Belgium forward will provide a significant aerial threat, something which the Reds have lacked for some time, but he also offers pace and power to put defenders on the back foot.
His strength can cause the opposition problems and his movement will stretch their backline, giving Liverpool’s playmakers more time and space to work their magic.
Blessed with electrifying speed and a sharp finish the England international in tandem with Luis Suarez tore Premier League sides apart two seasons ago.
A number of injuries restricted him to just 19 appearances in the previous campaign and that unreliability was one of the reasons Rodgers made Benteke his priority summer signing.
Sturridge’s finishing remains top-drawer, however, and if he can stay fit and adjust to the arrival of Benteke Liverpool could have a very potent strikeforce.
Will have to be given time to adapt to the step up required at a club like Liverpool but his busy style and intelligent running in and around the penalty area will a provide useful back-up.
Still unproven at the highest level, the 20-year-old Belgium international has played at a World Cup but still has plenty of development to make.
He was loaned back to Lille for a season after his B£10million transfer last season but that did not really benefit him much.
His first two seasons are likely to be a huge learning curve.
Not technically a striker but an attacking midfielder who has already shown a propensity to score for both Hoffenheim and Brazil and averages roughly a goal every three matches.
The £29 million signing has also been highly effective as a creator and had a work-rate, honed in the Bundesliga, which is ideally suited to English football.
OUT OF THE PICTURE
MARIO BALOTELLI – Dreadful first season brought just four goals, only one of which was in the league, and persuaded Rodgers to look elsewhere.
FABIO BORINI – Impressed in a loan spell with Sunderland and while he is an energetic runner he lacks the quality and goal threat to cut it at Anfield.
RICKIE LAMBERT – Brought in last season as the alternative option but barely played and suffered from such inactivity. Turned down a January move to Aston Villa but is likely to be first out of the exit.
- More on Benteke:
- BENTEKE SPEAKS: Christian Benteke: “I came here to win trophies”
- GOALS VS. LIVERPOOL: Christian Benteke: Remembering the striker’s 5 goals against Liverpool
- FAN REACTION: “Benteke is Rodgers’ biggest signing” – How supporters reacted to Christian Benteke’s Liverpool move
- VIDEO: Video: What Liverpool can expect from Christian Benteke
- OPPOSITION VIEW: Christian Benteke: The Aston Villa view on Liverpool’s £32.5 million signing