Liverpool have the best part of £49m burning a hole in their collective pockets after selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City, prompting renewed speculation they will attempt to sign Christian Benteke.
Aston Villa have been demanding the striker’s £32m release clause be met by any of his potential suitors and Manchester United are reportedly hovering in the wings.
Benteke is currently 2/5 to be a Liverpool player by the close of the current transfer window, while it’s 7/2 that he signs for United and 4/1 that he stays put at Villa.
The Belgian notched 11 goals in as many games at the close of the 2014/15 campaign and would make an exciting addition to Brendan Rodgers’ armoury.
However, the parallels between a move for the Belgian and the Merseysiders’ ill-advised swoop for Andy Carroll in 2010/11 are a real cause for concern…
He’ll cost north of £30m
Let’s start with the most obvious, the massive financial outlay is a huge risk – one that backfired spectacularly with the Geordie beanpole.
He arrives with a questionable injury record
The iffy ankle that has gone on to plague Carroll at West Ham had first come to light back in 2008/09 and by the time he made his Liverpool debut, the pony-tailed predator had already amassed over 200 career days off through injury.
Benteke didn’t arrive back at his optimum performance levels following his return to action after rupturing his Achilles tendon for six uninspiring months last term.
He is effectively being signed off the back of a two-month purple patch
Admittedly the Villa man has been prolific before, but since the aforementioned knee injury there is only an admittedly white-hot-but-short spree to go on.
Carroll had strung together a season and a half of solid scoring at first Championship, then Premier League level before arriving at Anfield.
His ability to link up with high-quality players is unproven
Part of what has made the Belgian’s goalscoring exploits for Villa so impressive is the fact that they have been perpetrated while relying upon such an average supporting cast.
The same was true of Carroll’s 11 goals in 19 games for Newcastle in 2010/11, yet rather than go stratospheric when teamed up with superior colleagues he struggled to build a rapport with them.