Belgian striker Christian Benteke has emerged as a shock target for incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
After a disappointing first season at Anfield, Liverpool striker Christian Benteke may join forces with Antonio Conte at Chelsea. According to The Times, the new Chelsea boss is reportedly interested in bringing in the striker at the club, and believes he can rediscover the form he generated back in his Aston Villa days.
Conte is currently at the Euros, where he is coaching the Italian side for one final tournament in France. Conte may look to deploy a traditional 4-4-2 formation at Chelsea, which requires a duo of attackers to lead the line.
In his debut season at Liverpool, Christian Benteke despite making 29 league appearances, started only on 14 occasions. His output as a striker was dismal as he failed to hit double figures in the goals bracket, finding the back of the net just nine times throughout the course of the season. He wasn’t the manager’s first choice as Roberto Firmino deputized for the Belgian and proved to be a much better option than his teammate by executing the false 9 role to perfection. Divock Origi, too, who was recalled from a loan spell at Lille, fared relatively well. With Daniel Sturridge hoping to stay fit for the entirety of next season, the Belgian striker may have fallen way down the pecking order in a Liverpool side full of offensive options.
Playing beside another striker may prove to be beneficial for the Belgian striker who has the tendency of being isolated up-front. However, the 25-year-old maverick ended the past campaign on a high note as WhoScored rightly pointed out:
Christian Benteke: Has been directly involved in 4 goals (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last 5 Premier League appearances #LIVCHE
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 11, 2016
Will the Benteke-Costa partnership prove fruitful for Chelsea next season?
Diego Costa is certainly a notorious character on the field of play. His theatrical antics make for great viewing on the T.V. screens, but for his teammates, they are a bit of a worry. There is no doubting the potential the man possesses, as he managed to tally 13 goals and 7 assists in all competitions, in what was an absolutely disastrous season for Chelsea.
The 26-year-old’s form saw a meteoric rise after the appointment of interim manager Guss Hiddink. With Antonio Conte set to take over the realm at Stamford Bridge, getting Costa to behave would be one of his primary objectives.
Benteke, much like Costa, is used to playing as the lone man up-front. Due to his aerial prowess he often finds himself on the receiving end of a number of long balls, and could play as the number nine. Another alternative is to play both of them along side each other, running at defences in tandem. With the Chelsea side not short of natural players out wide, the strike duo of Benteke and Costa could prove to be an absolutely lethal one.
Also, with reported targets Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata set to cost Chelsea a fortune, signing Benteke at a price of £20 million may prove to be good business by Antonio Conte. On their day, this staggering strike pairing would be a terror for the best defences in the Premier League.