Brendan Rodgers discusses Christian Benteke's qualities, return to Stoke, and James Milner

Brendan Rodgers 2

Brendan Rodgers has addressed the media ahead of this weekend's opening Premier League fixture where Liverpool travel to Stoke City.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said Christian Benteke is a player who will fit in 'perfectly' at Anfield after his £32.5 million signing from Aston Villa - as reported by the BBC.

A lot of eyebrows were raised by the move to make the Belgian the club's second most expensive player of all time, as Rodgers has looked to address the side's lack of firepower in the final third. The forward has already made his mark in his only pre-season appearance, netting a spectacular volley against Swindon Town. 

Rodgers told reporters, including those of the Liverpool Echo, at his pre-match press conference before this weekend's opening game: "Benteke is the type who fits perfectly for us. He has massive potential. He can play the power game & his movement is very clever."

Rodgers has said the first goal for his side is to finish in the top four, and said that the side will put up a 'greater fight' than they did last season, which saw the Reds finish sixth - eight points off the top four - and without a trophy for the third consecutive season. It all culminated in a embarrassing 6-1 defeat at the hands of this weekend's opponents Stoke City, and the Liverpool boss admits the side owes the fans following that display.

He added: "100%. A score like that should never happen. We owe them. It was a unique game. We all knew it was unacceptable and whatever stick we got for it was deserved.

"For me it's the perfect fixture for us first up. I was happy that came out.

"The first eight games are vital and good start is very important for us."

Liverpool's fixture list is a very difficult one on paper, with their most difficult away games stacked up at the start of the season, while their home games are very much winnable. 

Rodgers also announced that his first signing of the summer, James Milner, will be vice-captain and has been explaining the qualities that led to him trying to sign the player as well as appointing him as Jordan Henderson's deputy.

"When there was the possibility he was available, we were surprised, but hopeful we could get him," he added.

"James is someone I'd admired for a long time. He gives everything. He's always in here two-and-a-half hours before we train."

In terms of injuries, Joe Allen is likely to be out for three to four weeks. Rodgers said Daniel Sturridge could be back in September, and Jon Flanagan is expected back from a long-term knee injury just before Christmas. 

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