Friday 20 April 2018

Seven things you may not know about Liverpool signing Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke has completed his move to Liverpool and will be expected to bring a regular supply of goals when the Reds begin their 2015/16 campaign.


Born on December 3, 1990 in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he and his family later emigrated to Liege, Belgium. Benteke began playing football for JS Pierreuse in 1996, before moving to Standard Liege in 2004.


Having been loaned out twice by Standard Liege by the time he was 20, Benteke moved to Genk in 2011 and scored 19 goals in his first full season. That attracted the attention of then Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, who brought the striker to the club in 2012 for a fee in the region of £7million.


Making his Villa debut in September 2012, Benteke scored as a substitute against Swansea in a 2-0 home win. He went on to net 19 league goals in his first campaign, beating Dwight Yorke's record of most goals in a Premier League season by a Villa player, which had stood at 18.


Benteke has represented Belgium from under-17 level. In 2010 he made his senior debut in a friendly against Bulgaria in Brussels. His first goal came in 2012 against Holland in a 4-2 win and Benteke is now a regular under current manager Marc Wilmots.


Benteke's fitness has been a concern in recent years, particularly during the 2013/14 season. Knee and groin problems affected his Villa availability before he ruptured his Achilles tendon in training, ruling him out of the 2014 World Cup.


Benteke had scored 42 times in 88 Villa appearances when that record drew in Liverpool, who were seeking a reliable scorer almost 12 months after losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona.


After paying £32.5million for his services, just short of their transfer record, Benteke's performances for Liverpool will be heavily scrutinised.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers bought in the likes of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli last term and Benteke will be expected to do far better than both men and spark a push for a top-four finish. With Steven Gerrard no longer at Anfield, supporters would love a new talisman to emerge.

Press Association

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