With Chelsea starved of prolific strikers beyond Diego Costa, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Blues will vie for a forward this summer.
Given the arrival of Antonio Conte as manager, the majority of targets have been sought from Serie A. Romelu Lukaku has also been linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge after a successful season with Everton though.
However, there have been a number of more unorthodox targets, most notably Christian Benteke. While Chelsea may find themselves in a dire situation, this certainly proves a move they should not pursue.
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Since making a £32.5 million move to Liverpool last summer, Benteke has endured somewhat of a stagnant spell at Anfield. 10 goals in 42 appearances is certainly not a disastrous record, but far from the level expected of such a hearty investment.
In fact, the Belgian remains firmly behind Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in the Liverpool pecking order.
The 25-year-old has simply slumped from a fearsome forward to an enduring target of mockery.
Many would argue that it’s the second time in five years that the Reds have spent big on a Premier League striker that is the antithesis to the club’s style of play. Andy Carroll certainly isn’t alone, but Liverpool fans aren’t finding it funny.
Albeit such a disappointing 2015-16, it seems the league’s finest clubs are still interested in securing Benteke’s signature. The Daily Mail proved the publication to tie Chelsea into the scenario this week.
Given the Blues’ high-profile interest in Lukaku, it is now believed that Benteke will be their next port of call. If Conte’s proposed Everton raid flops, they’ll be turning their attention to the next best Belgian forward on Merseyside.
When you look at the 25-year-old’s goal scoring record this season though, it’s hard to see the appeal.
Chelsea have predominantly played with a one striker system for the past five years and as a consequence, the lone forward must be reliable. Benteke seems to be an expert in going long spells without scoring and thus proves far from the perfect fit.
Considering the vast number of strikers linked to the club and the money at their disposal, you’d imagine Benteke would be one of the last players on their mind.
The Liverpool forward is superb on his day, but Lukaku to Benteke is a big step down.
In addition, Chelsea have never been a team to cross repeatedly and search for a hitman in the area. In leaving Liverpool, the Belgian would be escaping his status as a misfit only to inherit it at another club.
If the Blues’ proposed move for Lukaku does fall short, Benteke should not be the striker to whom they turn to next.
The club’s supporters are crying out for ambition and a return to success- a deal for the 25-year-old would only serve to deflate hopes. He’s good, but not Chelsea good.
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