Speaking to FourFourTwo, former Aston Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has compared Aston Villa losing Christian Benteke to when Liverpool sold Luis Suarez, criticising the quality of Rudy Gestede who was brought in to replace him.
The former stopper said: “They sold Benteke [to Liverpool]. Liverpool faced a similar problem a couple of years ago when they sold Luis Suarez [to Barcelona]. Villa brought in Gestede, who is a good Championship player, but it is so different in the Premier League and suddenly they are not scoring those goals in the tight games, which they probably got in the last couple of years.”
Benteke’s departure to Liverpool left a gaping hole in Villa’s attacking force, and it is no surprise that their return of just 13 goals in 15 games is the lowest in the division.
They have lost a player who brought consistent goals, and, much like Liverpool when they lost Suarez to Barcelona, their attacking focal point has left the club.
The Reds scored 101 Premier League goals in the 2013/14 season, and after losing Suarez, their return dropped to just 52 goals last term.
For Villa, they have no real consistent goalscorer in the side having lost Benteke, although Jordan Ayew is starting to show some of the talent which caused the Midlands club to sign him in the summer.
However, Sorensen is critical of Rudy Gestede, who was brought in as the direct replacement for Benteke. He is tall and powerful, with a fantastic heading ability, and Villa believed he could replicate his 20 Championship goals from last term in the top flight this season.
However, he is clearly not of the required quality for the Premier League, as Sorensen has noticed, and the towering striker has netted only three games this season - coming in two games.
He has started just one of Remi Garde’s four games, and looks to now be a back-up option under the French coach.
There were high hopes for Gestede upon his arrival at Villa Park, but it is looking like the forward is nowhere near good enough to keep the relegation favourites in the Premier League.