Christian Benteke Joins Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers has finally completed the signing of top summer target Christian Benteke from Aston Villa for £32.5 million, Sports Courant reported.

Benteke now ranks second in the all-time list of Liverpool’s most expensive signings, after the Anfield club reluctantly triggered the buy-out clause in his contract to complete their seventh summer signing. In the process, he also became the most expensive Belgian player as well to have signed for a Premier League club.

The Belgian striker is understood to have signed a five-year contract, which will see Liverpool pay nearly half of the agreed amount (£16 million) up front with the remaining half payable over the contract period.

The former KRC Genk striker underwent a two-part medical in London earlier this week before moving to Merseyside on Wednesday to close the deal after completing the paperwork and other legal formalities.

“I’m very happy to be here. I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team. It was the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and I wanted to be part of his project,” He told the Liverpool website.

The 24-year-old striker scored 49 goals in 101 appearances during the three seasons he spent with Villans since joining in summer 2012, with only Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie doing better during this period.

Benteke is likely to assume the role of a lead striker at Anfield, particularly with Daniel Sturridge out injured till September end and the futures of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini wrapped in uncertainty.

At Anfield, the Belgian striker is expected to shoulder the goal-scoring responsibilities in the upcoming season and beyond — something he has already done with Aston Villa for three consecutive seasons.

Benteke missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil due to an Achilles tendon injury but returned to action last October and scored 15 goals to help Villa stay in the Premier League as well as reach the FA Cup final.

The Belgian will not be able to introduce himself to most of his new team-mates until they return after Friday’s match against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.


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