Connect in the back of the net

After weeks of speculation, Liverpool have finally accepted an offer for Christian Benteke and it is said to be in the region of £27 million from Crystal Palace.

The Belgian would be a massive coup for the Eagles in a deal that would smash their transfer record and while it might not necessarily be the dream move for Benteke, it may well be his best option at this point in time.

There can be little doubt that Christian Benteke has no future at Anfield while Jurgen Klopp is at the helm which should be for the foreseeable future.


Never suited Klopp and his style of play

His style of play was never likely to be suited to the German’s approach and the Belgian only really flourishes when he is employed in a team that likes to get lots of crosses into the box and use him as a target man.

Benteke at his best and when being utilised correctly is almost unplayable and has much more to his game than just being good in the air.

However for whatever reason he just wasn’t the right fit for Liverpool and it remains a mystery why they moved for the player in the first place.

That leaves Benteke in an awkward position where he knows if he wants to play football this season he is going to have to leave Anfield but with a lengthy contract at the Merseyside club he doesn’t have much freedom in terms of choosing his destination.

With Palace having had an offer accepted he can either play a waiting game and see if any other clubs come in for him or he can cut his losses at Liverpool and sign on the dotted line at Selhurst Park where he is guaranteed to go straight into the side, which he has done.

There would be an element of swallowed pride for Benteke, who looked set for the very top after three outstanding seasons at Aston Villa and seemed capable of going to almost any club in Europe and being a success.


A very good signing for Crystal Palace

To be back at a bottom half Premier League club just 12 months on would represent some fall from grace, but it’s a better option than warming the bench or even worse a seat in the stands at Liverpool.

It would give him the opportunity to immediately get out there and show what he can do on the big stage again and if he can stay fit for the whole season and if Palace play to his strengths, Benteke could easily hit the 20 goal mark in all competitions.

Palace may have to slightly alter their style to fit Benteke in but he could make a real difference particularly to their home form, which hasn’t been great.

They will suddenly have a genuine target man to build play off and that should give them much more options at home while they are likely to continue with their successful counter-attacking philosophy on the road, one which is not entirely dissimilar to the one employed by Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa so there’s no reason why Benteke wouldn’t fit into that.

Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 games in a pretty poor Villa side and if Palace utilise him correctly, he should be near enough 1 in 2 for them, and for the first time they will have a genuine top class Premier League striker in their ranks.

Selling Yannick Bolasie for £25 million and bringing in Benteke for £27 million would represent some really smart business from Alan Pardew’s team and they will be rightly delighted if they can pull it off.


The perfect springboard

For the big Belgian, Crystal Palace might not have been his dream destination but he should get what he got at Villa Park in the shape of a team willing to adapt to him and play to his strengths.

That will give him the perfect springboard for rebuilding his career after a miserable 12 months on Merseyside.


Written by Mark Sochon

Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol

Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!

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