Robbie Fowler: Christian Benteke is perfect for Liverpool

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Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler thinks Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke would be the perfect summer signing and urged Brendan Rodgers to do whatever it takes to secure the services of the Belgium international.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo the former Anfield marksman claimed the presence that the 24-year-old possesses is exactly what the Reds missed last season and picked out the player's aerial prowess as another reason why he should be recruited in the current transfer window.

Benteke has a £32.5 million buyout clause written into his existing contract at Villa Park and although that is a significant sum of money to shell out Fowler feels it would be a sound investment for Rodgers' side ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.


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"The striker issue is a big thing," he explained. "We didn't have anyone who scored 10 Premier League goals last year and I can't remember the last time that happened at Liverpool.

"It's important we get a proven goalscorer and of the names being bandied about I'd go for Benteke. I think he's excellent.

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"I know there are other top strikers out there and probably more prolific scorers. But in terms of all-round play - strength, speed, physicality, finishing - I think Benteke could be the main man for Liverpool.

"I think we cross more balls into the box than any club in the league and I think Christian says he feeds off crosses. There's no point going to a club where they don't cross the ball."

Liverpool have been very active already this summer, bringing in six new players to Merseyside. The Bosman free transfer arrivals of James Milner from Manchester City, Danny Ings from Burnley and Adam Bogdan from Bolton Wanderers have been complimented by the arrival of Championship starlet Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic, Brazil international Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim and Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne.

However, Fowler still feels the team is a little short in attack and having seen what Benteke can do in the Premier League first hand thinks he could have a very successful career at Anfield.

"I've watched him a lot and he’s not just a targetman," he added. "He can hold the ball well and bring others into play but he's also mobile and keeps defenders on their toes.

"Before he got his injury I was very impressed with him and I was hoping we would sign him then. He had a slow start after getting back fit but under Tim Sherwood his form was superb.

"I think he's ideal for the way Brendan wants to play. It's probably what we lacked at times last season. We had forwards who wanted to drop deep to get involved with the play and we always had that gap up front.

"With a Benteke type, you have someone who will stay up there and stretch defenders. If you have someone who stretches the defence and makes the pitch bigger there's a lot more space for the likes of Firmino, [Philippe] Coutinho and [Jordan] Henderson to run into.

"When you've got players who want to drop deep all the time, you're easier to mark as a team. When forwards drop into Coutinho's position, it makes it harder for him to get on the ball.

"Liverpool's game isn't all about getting down the line and whipping crosses in, it's about movement but I think Benteke has got that.

"I can't stress enough how important it is that we get a forward like that - someone to make the pitch big. It's vital for us because it brings others into the game."

Liverpool have so far failed to fill the void left by Luis Suarez following his transfer to Barcelona last summer, and although Benteke is an entirely different type of player he will surely ease the goalscoring burden placed on the likes of Daniel Sturridge, who endured a stop-start season after suffering a number of injuries.

Regarding the hefty price-tag hanging above Benteke's head, Fowler hopes Liverpool won't be put off and still pursue a move for him between now and deadline day at the end of the summer.

"That's for the clubs to sort out," he concluded. "A big thing is made out of the price but that doesn't concern me. If a player is good enough, he's good enough and I believe Benteke is.

"He scores goals, he's a threat and a real handful for defenders. Being honest, I think he's probably the perfect player for us."

Liverpool fans: Do you agree with Robbie Fowler's view that Christian Benteke would be the perfect signing for Brendan Rodgers? Share your thoughts below...

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Premier League
Christian Benteke
Robbie Fowler
Aston Villa

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