The month long Christian Benteke saga is finally coming to an end as reports from England suggest that Crystal Palace have come to an agreement with Liverpool after their initial offer was deemed too low by the Merseyside club.
Liverpool, the birthplace of Beatles but pretty much the Ringo Starr of the Premier League, has been struggling all season to offload their surplus strikers Italian Mario Balotelli and Belgian Christian Benteke. Both have suffered disastrous spells with Liverpool after the club had invested heavily on them.
The details of the agreement – Player and Club
Reliable reporter Paul Joyce reports that Liverpool will receive £27m plus a further £5m in realistic add-ons (via Express). The personal terms are yet to be finalised but it is believed that the striker will earn £120,000-a-week. This news comes off the back of a rejected Crystal Palace bid of £30m, with £23m up front plus £7m in add-ons.
The saga has been going on long, and this is the third official bid Palace have made for the striker who was bought only last season from Aston Villa after Liverpool paid his release clause of £32.5m.
Surplus to Requirements
Benteke was bought while Brendan Rodgers was still in charge and was guaranteed a first team place. However, he fell out of favour with Jurgen Klopp as he did not fit his style of play. With the arrival of Sadio Mane from Southampton, a starting place seemed far beyond the reach of the 25 year old Congolese-Belgian.
Klopp had left the door open to a possible departure for the striker, although he acknowledges that he is a “great striker” – “Everyone knows about it. Christian has already said maybe it makes sense to go to another club”
“We have a few more strikers and I think it makes more sense to give them match time. But if there are clubs that want a real striker than they have to make real offers otherwise we will find solutions. A few clubs try to gamble but we are not part of this, we are serious.” (via SkySports)
Benteke can perhaps better accommodate himself into Alan Pardew’s system. Benteke is a target man and a poacher who links well with wingers and bullies the opposition defenders – a total misfit in Klopp’s system. However, it has to be noted that Pardew is not typically fond of the long-balls-to-the-striker school of play. So it remains to be seen how Pardew fits Benteke in his lineup with Wickham and Sako.