Why Aston Villa's 12-goal Christian Benteke would be an astute signing for Liverpool

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke has been linked with a summer transfer to Liverpool.

Following Brendan Rodgers' admission that Liverpool must sign a consistent goal scorer this summer, speculation has been rife regarding potential arrivals at Anfield.

The Northern Irishman cast doubt over Daniel Sturridge’s status as Liverpool’s first-choice striker by suggesting that the club must sign another top marksman in the upcoming window, and Aston Villa's Christian Benteke has become the latest to be linked with a big-money move to Merseyside, as per the Liverpool Echo.

The Belgium international had struggled for most of the season, for form and fitness, but since Tim Sherwood's arrival at Villa Park he has experienced an incredible resurgence. He has now scored an impressive 12 goals in 26 appearances - including two against Everton on Saturday - and this impressive form has seen him linked with a move to Anfield.

It is no secret that Liverpool failed to replace the goals lost in Luis Suarez's departure last summer. Daniel Sturridge has spent the best part of this term on the sidelines, while £16 million summer signing Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert have scored just four times between them. In fact, the club's top scorer this season, Raheem Sterling, has just seven Premier League goals to his name.

  GoalsMinutes per GoalTotal Shots per GameShot Accuracy (%)Shot Conversion (%)Total Passes per GamePass Accuracy (%)Key Passes per GameAppearancesMins Played
Christian Benteke 12 175.83 2.81 37 16 33.42 66 1.12 26 2,110
Daniel Sturridge 4 187.5 3.25 36 10 20.83 79 0.92 12 750

A proven Premier League goalscorer, Benteke could prove the perfect solution to Liverpool's striking woes. As per the Opta Stats above, he has not only scored more goals than the Reds' current first-choice frontman, Daniel Sturridge, but he has done so in a significantly more clinical manner.

Not only has he scored on a more basis, and from fewer attempts per match (2.81 to 3.25), but he has also proved to be more creative than the Englishman, fashioning 1.12 key passes on average (compared to Sturridge's 0.92). Perhaps the one outstanding concern is his pass completion rate (66%), which could pose problems when asked to operate in Brendan Rodgers' free-flowing system. 

In Christian Benteke, Liverpool would undoubtedly be getting a player capable of plundering 20-plus goals a season, especially when supplemented with the creative support of Philippe Coutinho and co. There can be no guarantees regarding the long-term fitness of Daniel Sturridge, and as a consequence, the Aston Villa frontman would be a very astute signing. 

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