Christian Benteke shows credentials with emphatic volley on debut

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At £32 million, Liverpool have paid a pretty price for a marksman who spent long periods of time on the side-lines during last year's campaign.

Following the departure of Luis Suarez and the recurrent injuries of Daniel Sturridge, Brendan Rodgers knew where his priorities lie - the void left by the departure of Suarez was greater than the Liverpool boss and fans alike dared to dread. In his last season for the Reds, the Uruguayan spearheaded a front three that produced a fantastic brand of football and, more importantly, an exceptional goals tally of 101 in the Premier League.

2014-15 was dreadful by comparison, barely scraping the 50-goal mark and ending the season with a 6-1 demolition at the hands of Stoke, which was a fitting finale to a turgid run-in. This was no coincidence. Liverpool had to get the cheque book out and Rodgers looked to Villa's talisman.


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Christian Benteke enjoyed a fabulous first season in English football, settling in comfortably by scoring more than a goal every other game. His league return of 19 goals in 34 appearances even piqued the interest of some of Europe's elite.

An injury-plagued 2013-14 meant he could only chip in with ten league goals and, despite similar poor luck last season, he managed 13 goals in 28 matches. Not a bad contribution from the big Belgian, considering the lack of long runs in the team.

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Brendan Rodgers has clearly decided, though, that the injury-prone 24-year-old is a risk worth taking. And you have to say, if he stays injury-free, the stats back him up, and one would assume that when supplied by the midfield creativity that Liverpool possess, such as in the much-improved Philippe Coutinho, the big man will produce on a more emphatic scale and have the The Kop positively salivating.

The excitement showed no sign of abating on Sunday as the Belgian scored a memorable goal in Liverpool's friendly against Swindon. Skilfully controlling a high ball onto his chest just outside the opponent's box, he looped round and smashed a sensational volley into the corner of the net.

Pre-season or not, it was a phenomenal strike and a brilliant way to endear himself to a brand new set of supporters, and you can watch it here:

And Rodgers, as per the Express, clearly thinks he's made the right decision: "I've seen him up close now for three years, stood at the side of the field watching this guy - not just his power and strength, but also his footballing ability.

"For me, I think he'll prove to be a bargain for the club, I really do."

And who could argue with the Anfield gaffer's summation? Some might see Rodgers as being on borrowed time, but the procurement of this prodigious talent could pave the way to not only save his job but to actually challenge for some much sought-after silverware.

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Christian Benteke
Premier League

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