These Rodgers quotes from 2013 raise serious questions about any Benteke transfer

Benteke Scores Past Brad Guzan

The Liverpool boss once spoke strongly against signing target men.

In 2013, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers spoke passionately about not signing a target man because his 'history' as a coach isn't to work that way. 

Indeed, according to the Guardian, Rodgers said: "When you play with a big target man, it is hard not to make that the focal point of your team. Everything has to be set up around the big guy and sometimes you get sucked into going more direct and my history as a coach is not to work that way."

For context, the Liverpool boss was defending his sale of Andy Carroll in order to get the best out of Luis Suarez - which undoubtedly worked. Benteke is no Carroll but to deny that the Aston Villa striker is a target man is to deny the existence of football.

Just as they did with Carroll, the Reds currently have no width in the team when it comes to supplying crosses to the 24-year-old and, even if Benteke can play with the ball at his feet, what earned him a release clause of £32.5 million is his ability in the air.

 2014/15 Headers WonAppearancesMinutes Played
Christian Benteke 188 29 2,380
Graziano Pellè 176 38 3,284
Jason Shackell 170 38 3,347
Peter Crouch 153 33 1,675
Steven Caulker 146 35 3,015

Indeed, as Opta stats show, Benteke won more headers than any other Premier League player during his time with Aston Villa last season. He scored vital goals in the air (four of his 13 were headed) and he is a real handful when the ball is off the ground. 

So... if Rodgers is taking all of this into account, any move for Benteke might be justified. If the Liverpool boss is aware Benteke is no Carroll, if he is making plans to cross the ball more to the Belgian, if Rodgers has moved on from his 2013 comments to adopt a broader style of play - and if he isn't going to make the exact same mistake he did with Mario Balotelli - the Aston Villa forward will be a good signing.

But this is a man who has recklessly wasted hundreds of millions of pounds, changed systems endlessly without actually influencing many games, lost most of the must-win clashes he has managed, lost his last competitive match 6-1 at Stoke City and contradicted himself publicly on a number of occasions.

In other words, Rodgers probably can't even remember what he said about signing a target man in 2013.

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