5 reasons Tottenham must swoop for £28m Benteke over Lukaku

Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a bid for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku but Tottenham could be better served by a move for Christian Benteke.

Tottenham Hotspur’s pursuit of goalscoring reinforcements has continued apace this week with the club linked to a Belgium international with Premier League pedigree - but is he the right one?

According to reports Spurs are set to table a bid of £20 million to bring Romelu Lukaku to the club but could they be better off going for Christian Benteke, a striker linked with a £28 million move to White Hart Lane back in January.

Here are five reasons why Benteke is a better fit all round.

1. The Villa man is the preferred choice for Belgium

While the Red Devils progressed all the way to the last-eight in Brazil, there was a definite Benteke-shaped hole at the World Cup for Belgium, with national team manager Marc Wilmots forced to switch between Lukaku and Divock Origi to limited effect throughout the tournament.

Benteke’s tally of six goals in 17 games for Belgium far outstrips Lukaku’s seven strikes in 32 games and explains why Wilmots preferred the Villa man. It could also leave many Belgian fans wandering ‘what if’ when it comes to Benteke and World Cup the striker missed after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

2. Chelsea will want big bucks in any permanent deal

While media reports have suggested that Tottenham will offer £20 million for Lukaku, the reality is that parent club Chelsea may push for a more significant transfer fee, given the undoubted potential of 21-year-old to one day replacement Didier Drogba at the club.

Signed in a deal worth £17 million when you factor in add-ons, Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to balance the books at Stamford Bridge, meaning the final agreed fee for any permanent move could exceed Benteke’s £28 million price tag.

3. Aston Villa are a far worse team than Everton

There’s something of an old football cliché that claims a player is only as good as the team that surrounds him and if that’s something you buy into then it’s difficult to argue with the assertion that Benteke has exceeded expectations while Lukaku has merely met them.

A return of 29 goals in 60 Premier League games is sensational enough, but that Benteke has managed that for an unfashionable Villa side at the wrong end of the table is sensational and far outstrips the 15 in 31 top-flight games scored by Lukaku for top-four-chasing Everton.

4. Romelu Lukaku isn’t as good in the air

As this comparison from their Premier League performances last season showcases, while Lukaku may manage marginally more shots on target, when it comes to aerial ability, there is one very clear winner.

On average Benteke managed roughly one headed goal every five games compared with one every ten when it comes to Lukaku.

The Villa man was also superior when it came to headed duels, winning almost three times as many battles with other players in the air – a surprising statistic when you consider Lukaku’s muscular build.

Benteke is also superior when it comes to passing headers, managing three times as many to further showcase his superior ability at leading the line as a lone striker. Pochettino take note.

5. Christian Benteke would be happier at Tottenham

Lukaku moved to Chelsea off the back of a promise that he would one day replace Didier Drogba as the Blues main striker competing for Premier League titles and top honours in Europe.

As such, switching to Tottenham – a team in the Europa League – on a permanent basis would be regarded as a step down for the 21-year-old and could prompt him to head to alternative destination Atletico Madrid on loan.

But Benteke would welcome the challenge of stepping up to Spurs and leading the line as they look up the table to a top four finish rather than down to the bottom three, as he has been doing with Villa.

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