Rodgers: Benteke will prove to be a bargain for Liverpool
The Belgium international completed a big-money move to Anfield from Aston Villa earlier this month and the Northern Irishman insists his £32.5m signing can prove his worth.

BRENDAN RODGERS BELIEVES Christian Benteke will prove to be a bargain for Liverpool after completing a £32.5 million move to the club from Aston Villa.

The Belgium international finalised his transfer to Anfield on July 22, having scored 16 goals in all competitions last season following a storming end to the campaign under Tim Sherwood.

Benteke will not play for the Reds in their upcoming friendly against HJK Helsinki, as he has not travelled with the squad, but Rodgers has backed the 24-year-old to live up to, and even exceed, his price tag.

“I’ve read and seen things about his game, but in the short period of time he’s been in, I’ve been even more impressed,” he told reporters.

“I’ve seen him up close now for three years, stood at the side of the field and watching this guy – not just his power and strength, but also his footballing ability.

“He’s surprised people in the early stages of life at Liverpool with that mobility and the quickness of his feet – and his natural power and strength is there to see.

“One of the goals I remember he scored against us at Anfield, he ran halfway through the field.

“This isn’t someone who lacks pace, movement and intelligence. He’s not just a guy who you chuck the ball up to. Of course, his strength allows you to keep the ball, but he’ll really help the unpredictability of our game this season.

“For me, I think he’ll prove to be a bargain for the club, I really do.”

Liverpool have embarked on a major summer recruitment drive, acquiring Adam Bogdan, Nathaniel Clyne, Roberto Firmino, Joe Gomez, Danny Ings and James Milner in addition to Benteke.

And Rodgers has hailed all his new signings, but believes Benteke can become an icon at Anfield.

“We’ve obviously made a number of signings and a lot them have been young players and you can never tell,” Rodgers added.

“The players we’ve brought into Liverpool Football Club are all really good players – they’re all fantastic players, otherwise they wouldn’t be at the club.

“But it’s how players cope with the pressure of playing for one of the leading clubs in the world. That can always differ and be difficult.

“For the likes of Christian, he’s coming in and is one I’m excited about because of what he offers and what’s he’s been as an opponent against us.

“Coming in to a club like Liverpool, he can be a real hero for the supporters.

“I look at the likes of him and the boys we’ve signed, we’ve also got Daniel Sturridge to come back – we mustn’t forget about him and once he gets back fit, we’re going to have an array of talent that can score and create goals – I am excited to work with them all.

“With Christian, I am really looking forward to his presence at the club.”

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