Christian Benteke – Don’t Worry, Be Happy 

Aston Villa’s prolific forward Christian Benteke scored a tremendous 0.45 non penalty goals per 90 minutes during the 2015/16 season. Liverpool’s “epic flop” forward scored 0.47 non penalty goals per 90 minutes last season – his one and only season as a Liverpool player.

Benteke also notably scored quite a few point winning goals for Liverpool last season, securing the club either 3 points or 1 point in the English Premier League. Even so, benteke has been criticised for not being quite as prolific and great as the fans wanted a forward to be. Jürgen Klopp also preferred making use of Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi up front most of the time.

When Liverpool lost 3-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford back in September 2015, Benteke scored an unbelievable overhead kick. He scored many point winning goals getting us 3 points or 1 last season. How easily forgotten by fans feeling Benteke should have been more of a player like Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen. Well, Benteke isn’t, yet he delivers the goods. I bet he will return to Anfield and haunt his former club’s supporters with an epic goal or two for his new London club. Let’s just hope Sturridge, Origi, Ings, Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana and the rest of the lads can get even with their former teammate, and win the games for us anyway, shall we not? Oh, we shall all have to.

Ever since manager Jürgen Klopp’s first Liverpool pre-season started off, Benteke hasn’t played a single minute of the pre-season matches played. It looks as if Klopp and the boardroom staff only was waiting for some club to meet up with club’s £32m asking price. Christian Benteke has, of course, also said he wants to play for a different club next season. All Liverpool supporters have certainly known he would be better off playing playing football elsewhere, be it for Crystal Palace, Besiktas or even Everton, no problem. The fans, as well as the manager and his staff, depend on the qualities of other players. These players, plus newcomers Sadio Mané and Gini Wijnaldum, have already been mentioned above.

It looks as if Crystal Palace are finally ready to meet the asking price of Liverpool’s now, as they have come back to negotiate further for what just might be the very correct man for them. In London Christian Benteke will find himself in the same city as his good friend Eden Hazard (Chelsea). In May 2016 Christian Benteke scored the equalizer against Chelsea in a 1-1 Anfield draw, scoring the goal after 93 minutes, game time just about to run out.

After signing for Liverpool, several articles in the British press revealed Benteke had been in touch with Hazard. The £32.5m striker made the move to Anfield this summer after the Reds met the release clause in his Aston Villa contract. It is not the Champions League club that he desires just yet, but one that can compete and means he will not be burdened with the pressure of firing a side to Premier League safety this term. Liverpool may have only finished sixth last season so battling it out with champions Chelsea at the top of the table seems a distant hope at the moment. But Belgium striker Benteke, 24, has other views and a message from Blues ace and compatriot Hazard backed up his belief.

“I have been in contact with Eden on text message,”
he said. “He is happy for me. He said now I have a chance to win and to beat him. I think we have a chance. We have a good squad. It is up to us now to show them.”

It will not be easy and Kop boss Brendan Rodgers’ first priority will be to get back in the top four, but the Reds certainly have a better chance of tussling it out with the big boys again with Benteke in their ranks. As the club’s second most expensive signing – behind the £35m they spent on Andy Carroll in 2011 – there will be a lot of pressure on the former Genk forward. (Daily star, August 7, 2015)

A Liverpool fan on Facebook recently said: “As much as I don’t want him to leave, good luck to the guy. He will be class at Palace.”

My own Facebook words of farewell have been these: “Go where you’re admired, not where you’re tolerated. If they don’t appreciate you, it’s time to find people who do. If you’re brave enough to say goodbye life will reward you with a new hello.” This is an anonymous quotation taken from a web site, but yes: I honestly think it is a good way of saying what needs to be said. Good luck, okay?

Written by Magne Leonard Karlsen (@MagneLeoKarlsen)

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