Christian Benteke third most overpriced transfer of the summer, says European study

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A study has found Christian Benteke as one of the most overpriced signings of the summer transfer window, while Nathaniel Clyne was undervalued.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 17, 2015: Liverpool's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the first goal against AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool overspent on Christian Benteke, but brokered a good deal for Nathaniel Clyne, according to a study of Europe’s summer transfer activity by the CIES Football Observatory.

Benteke made the £32.5 million move from Aston Villa in July, but the Reds paid well over his estimated value.

The study suggests that the Belgian’s genuine worth was just under £20 million.

This overvaluation of £12.5 million ensures that Benteke is the Football Observatory’s third-most overpriced transfer of the summer window.

Manchester United’s £36.5 million deadline-day signing Anthony Martial tops the list, while Manchester City‘s reported £54 million outlay on Kevin De Bruyne, Benteke’s international team-mate, comes in second.

Interestingly however, Arsenal‘s signing of Petr Cech (£11 million) and Crystal Palace‘s move for Yohan Cabaye (£10 million) are both also considered overpriced.

This points towards an element of subjectivity required in evaluating this study, with Cech and Cabaye arguably two of the bargain signings of the summer.

Benteke’s inflated fee was forced by the hardline stance adopted by Aston Villa, with the club demanding the Reds trigger his buyout clause.

Villa didn’t need to sell Benteke, and this gave Liverpool no other option.

Football - Liverpool FC Preseason Tour 2015 - Day 10 - Kuala Lumpur

More encouraging is that Nathaniel Clyne‘s £12.5 million move from Southampton to Liverpool is considered one of the bargains of the summer.

The Football Observatory value Clyne at £18 million, meaning the Reds underpaid by £5.5 million.

However with the 24-year-old entering the final year of his contract with the Saints at the start of the summer, this is debatable.

Clyne remains one of the standout signings of the transfer window, with the Englishman looking set to shore up Liverpool’s right-back slot for seasons to come.

Regardless of his contract situation, £12.5 million for a player of Clyne’s talent, potential and temperament ensures this is a great piece of business for Liverpool, with his strong performances in the first four games of the season showing a consistency and defensive strength that Brendan Rodgers’ side had previously lacked.

The organisation’s top bargain signing of the summer is Raheem Sterling.

Manchester City paid £49 million to secure the services of the former Liverpool winger, but the Football Observatory value Sterling at close to £70 million.

It is, of course, unlikely that any club would have paid that much for a relatively unproven 20-year-old.

But on the basis of this study, Liverpool were once again naive in the transfer market this summer.

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