Football

Liverpool hand Christian Benteke the number nine shirt - fans react

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Christian Benteke has been handed the legendary number nine for his debut season at Liverpool

The news was confirmed on the clubs official website, and the Belgian striker takes the number from Rickie Lambert, who held the shirt last season at Anfield, following his sale to West Bromwich Albion.

In recent years the number nine has not been worth with distinction, however Benteke is following in the footsteps of Liverpool legends Ian st John, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres who wore the shirt with distinction.

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The 24-year-old joined Liverpool from Aston Villa in a £32.5 million deal following three successful seasons at the Birmingham club.

Benteke scored 49 goals in 100 games for Villa and his goals were vital in helping the club preserve their Premier League status. 

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The Belgian also scored the equalising goal in the FA Cup semi-final as Villa came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1.

The Anfield faithful saw a glimpse of the finishing prowess Benteke has as he scored a fantastic 20-yard volley on his debut, during a 2-1 win over Swindon.

In recent years the number nine has gone to players who have failed to live up to the expectations at Anfield. 

Rickie Lambert, Iago Aspas and Andy Carroll were the three previous players handed the number nine, but all fell short of the expectations of a player handed the famous number.

Between them the three strikers scored an uninspiring 15 goals in 109 games during their time at Anfield. However in the past there have been some legends of the club who have donned Benteke's new shirt.

Ian Rush, who in two spells at Liverpool scored 346 goals in 660 games, made the number nine shirt famous. While Robbie Fowler also enjoying a prolific spell in the iconic shirt, scoring 182 goals in 369 games. 

In more recent years Fernando Torres found the back of the net with ease for Liverpool while wearing the shirt, scoring 81 goals in 142 games before his £50 million move to Chelsea in 2011.

This act is a show of faith by manager Brendan Rodgers who is hoping the signing of Benteke along with fellow striker Danny Ings can solve the goalscoring issue that caused him major problems last season.

Ian Rush himself believes Benteke has the ability to fire Liverpool back in to the Champions League, telling Sky Sports he believes the Belgian is a fantastic signing for the club.

Many fans were excited about their new number nine 

One even made a prediction about their game against Man United

Others were more wary of the shirt number and their new striker

Is Benteke the striker Liverpool need? Will he succeed in the number nine shirt? Have your say below!

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Topics:
Christian Benteke
Liverpool
Premier League
Brendan Rodgers
Football

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