Christian Benteke marked his first outing in Liverpool colours with a sublime volley against Swindon.
The Belgian bulldozer is likely to make his competitive Reds bow at Stoke on the Premier League’s opening weekend, but was his pre-season thunderbolt an indicator for a profitable campaign to come?
After seeing his side consistently struggle for goals last time around – the Merseysiders bagged 52 in the top-flight, 50 fewer than the season that preceded it – Brendan Rodgers’ job may well hinge on his £32.5m acquisition doing the business.
Crossing bwin’s line of 16.5 league strikes is a prerequisite if next year is to be considered a success from Benteke’s perspective, with a price of 17/20 indicating a haul of 17 or better is attainable.
The returns reaped by those who ply their trade in the same position as the Belgium ace and cost north of the £30m threshold say he should easily surpass the mark, but does notching on debut have any impact?
In addition to Benteke, there are four fellow strikers signed for similar eye-watering sums during pre-season: Carlos Tevez (£47m), Sergio Aguero (£38m) Diego Costa (32m) and Andriy Shevchenko (£30m).
Of this reputable quartet, it was only the latter who failed (in emphatic fashion at that) to cross the 16.5 goal line, registering four during the first of a miserable two-year stint at Chelsea.
The costlier three of the bunch cruised across the watermark in question; Manchester City’s Argentine duo both notched 23, whereas Costa hit 20 last time around, though he’s the only one to register on his non-competitive debut.
Both Tevez and Aguero’s first Citizen goals came in competitive football and they share the highest hauls of the £30m-plus frontmen.
Last season’s Premier League golden boot winner didn’t feature in any friendlies following his 2011 switch from Atletico Madrid though struck twice to sink Swansea in his first English outing, whereas the former had to wait six matches before breaking his City duck.
Keeping the powder dry until the head guards come off looks as though it’s the safest route to bagging the haul required of Benteke to save his boss’ bacon, though it’s also worth noting the more prolific trio of the quartet had minimal competition to fend off for their place in the starting XI.
With Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge all vying for a starting spot at Liverpool, the former Aston Villa star could yet find himself the victim of poor congestion control at Anfield, as Shevchenko did at Chelsea.