John Barnes explains how Liverpool may need to change if they sign Aston Villa's Christian Benteke

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Barnes thinks Liverpool's style may be tweaked a little with Benteke leading the line.

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has been assessing how the Reds' style of play may have to adapt to the potential arrival of Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke.

Reports are circulating, including one in the Daily Telegraph, suggesting that the Belgian forward will ask to leave Villa Park this summer, though Villa will want Liverpool to trigger at £32.5 million release clause in the striker's contract in order to begin discussions over a move to Merseyside.

Brendan Rodgers is keen to add to his forward line after his charges struggled last term to live up to the scoring touch of the 2013/14 campaign, where the found the net on 101 occasions in the Premier League.

Barnes told talkSPORT: “Liverpool will have to adapt the way they play to suit Christian Benteke. When they play with Raheem Sterling, and Philippe Coutinho, they pass the ball through midfield and always want to score the perfect goal.

“With Benteke, you get the ball wide and then in the box, you need to be a little bit more direct.

“If he comes it will need a sweeping change in the way Liverpool play. Would that be a bad thing? Not necessarily, balance is important.

“At times Liverpool overplayed, which really came off two years ago but didn’t last season. He would cause people a lot of problems.”

Some have suggested that it was the fact Liverpool were a lot more direct in the 2013/14 season that led to them being such a force in the Premier League - and improbably challenging for the league title - while some have caricatured Benteke as nothing more than 'the big man up front'.

There is a lot more to the Belgian's game than that. He is a different kind of striker to those currently at Liverpool's disposal - not one of them possess the combination of pace and power that he has, as well as a decent goalscoring record with a side that has flirted with the relegation zone in the past few seasons.

Yes, he would give Liverpool a different option, but he is a player that can provide movement and is comfortable with playing on the floor. He might add a different dimension to Liverpool's play, but it's hard to think a drastic change in style will take place as a result of Benteke's potential arrival on Merseyside.

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