Reports this week are suggesting that Chelsea could turn to Liverpool striker Christian Benteke to rejuvenate their striking woes if all fails regarding their pursuit for former frontman Romelu Lukaku.
Although a move back to Stamford Bridge would be a step-up for Everton’s number nine, because of how he was treated at the club before, Lukaku may opt for other options meaning the signing of the Liverpool striker is very much a possibility – one Chelsea should avoid.
Since making the £32.5 million move from Aston Villa in the summer, Benteke has failed to set the world alight in his new surroundings in Merseyside, spending more time on the bench than on the pitch.
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His below-par performances saw him move further down the pecking order behind the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino but injuries to his fellow forwards meant Benteke played more than he deserved although he still failed to live up to expectations.
His overall gameplay is what let the Belgian down. Liverpool splashed the cash for the striker so they have more of an aerial threat going forward whilst having a player who can beat defenders and book his name on the scoresheet on a regular basis.
It is safe to say, Benteke failed to deliver that when given the chance to play, costing him his place in the regular starting eleven and possibly marking his name on Liverpool’s summer transfer list.
From the flanks, the likes of Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana floated ball after ball into the box hoping for the tall Belgian to latch on the end of it but his positionings were all wrong. Instead of being a nuisance in the box, Benteke decided he was best fitted on the edge, failing to pose any threat and angering the Anfield faithful.
His goal-gaping miss against Finland on Wednesday whilst on international duty summed up the disastrous form the striker has shown since his big-money move from Villa.
Chelsea are in need of a forward who can cause havoc on a weekly basis next season after Diego Costa failed to step up to the plate last campaign. Lukaku is definitely the man best suited for the Blues and could guide his former side back to the peak of the table next season.
However, if the move falls through, they need a plan B who can deliver the same abilities and possibly more – Benteke is certainly not the man to do that.
Alternate options could include the likes of goal machine, Gonzalo Higuain who rustled the net a record 36 times in 35 league games for Napoli last season and will undoubtedly prove to be a hit with the London side if he were to make the move.
Liverpool target Mario Gotze is another option after falling short of regular football at Bayern Munich last season. Despite claiming he is willing to fight for his place in Germany, it is clear to see he won’t be in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans next campaign and the Blues should pounce on the opportunity to lure the World Cup winner to the Bridge.
Lukaku still remains top of Chelsea’s striking wishlist but if all fails, Antonio Conte must not turn to Benteke otherwise they will endure another mid-table finish next campaign.