Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler has backed Christian Benteke to succeed at Anfield if the player can complete his transfer after stalling contract talks with Aston Villa.
The future of Christian Benteke has been clouded with a lot of speculation as the player is widely acknowledged to be Liverpool FC’s number one target.
While Aston Villa were adamant that they will not let the player go for anything below his 32 million GBP release clause, Liverpool would not meet the asking price as the club values the player closer to 20 million GBP as per reports in the Telegraph.
With only two years left to his contract, Villa were keen to tie the player down to a longer deal, but, he has refused to sign the deal pushing for a move away from the Midlands side. It is thought that the refusal to sign the new contract would soften Villa’s stance and a compromise could be reached, but, James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo confirmed that while Liverpool dona t want to pay more than A?25million for the big frontman, Villa have no interest in selling him and are highly unlikely to accept lower offer than the release clause.
There were concerns among the Reds fan base that the player is not mobile enough to fit in the system at Liverpool FC.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood fueled those fears when he said: a I think we cross more balls into the box than any club in the league and I think Christian says he feeds off crosses. Therea s no point going to a club where they dona t cross the ball.a
However, club legend Robbie Fowler has come out and said that Benteke is more than a target man, a complete forward, who will be ‘perfect’ for Liverpool FC and is a lot more than a player who simply attacks the ball from the flanks.
a Ia ve watched him a lot and hea s not just a targetman,a Fowler said.
a He can hold the ball well and bring others into play but hea s also mobile and keeps defenders on their toes.”
a Before he got his injury I was very impressed with him and I was hoping we would sign him then. He had a slow start after getting back fit but under Tim Sherwood his form was superb.”
a I think hea s ideal for the way Brendan wants to play. Ita s probably what we lacked at times last season. We had forwards who wanted to drop deep to get involved with the play and we always had that gap up front.
a With a Benteke type, you have someone who will stay up there and stretch defenders. If you have someone who stretches the defence and makes the pitch bigger therea s a lot more space for the likes of Firmino, Coutinho and Henderson to run into.
a When youa ve got players who want to drop deep all the time, youa re easier to mark as a team. When forwards drop into Coutinhoa s position, it makes it harder for him to get on the ball.
a Liverpoola s game isna t all about getting down the line and whipping crosses in, ita s about movement but I think Benteke has got that.
a I cana t stress enough how important it is that we get a forward like that – someone to make the pitch big. Ita s vital for us because it brings others into the game.a
If Liverpool FC do trigger his release clause, Benteke would become the second most expensive signing in the cluba s history. The price tag wouldna t put Fowler off.
a Thata s for the clubs to sort out,a he added.
a A big thing is made out of the price but thata s doesna t concern me. If a player is good enough, hea s good enough and I believe Benteke is.”
Well, with Liverpool FC refusing to meet the release clause and Benteke stalling on his contract talks, pressure is building on Aston Villa to do a deal or risk losing the player at much lesser cost as his value tumbles in the coming year.
There is a growing feeling among the Reds fan base that it is only a matter of time for Benteke to be wearing the Liverpool FC shirt and they will hope that Robbie Fowler’s assessment of the player is spot on.