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Christian Benteke is now officially a Liverpool player

See the first pictures of Benteke as a Liverpool player.

LIVERPOOL HAVE THIS evening announced the signing of Christian Benteke on a long-term contract.

The 24-year-old Belgian striker had a medical at the club this afternoon after Aston Villa accepted a bid of around €46m on Sunday, making him the fifth most expensive singing in English football’s history.

The 24-year-old’s 12 goals in as many games last season played a key role in helping Villa avoid relegation from the lucrative top flight of English football, and he has scored 42 times in the league since his arrival at the club in 2012.

Liverpool signed Benteke, who still has two years left on his Villa contract, after off-loading forward Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for a record fee for an English player that could rise to as much as €70m.

Benteke becomes the latest big name to join Liverpool this summer, after the earlier signings of James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino.

It’s also the second high profile departure from Aston Villa in under a week, after captain Fabian Delph moved to Manchester City.

The new signing says he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join a club with such history.

“I’m very happy to be here and I would like to thank the owners, Ian (Ayre, chief executive who pushed the deal through) and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here,” Benteke told liverpoolfc.com, his new club’s website.

“I think it was the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and I wanted to be part of his project.

“I know Liverpool is a big story. They’ve won league titles and the Champions League five times and of course the UEFA Cup and a lot of trophies. I know it’s a big club.

“I’m very happy to be part of the Liverpool family now and I will do everything to make them happy and work hard for them and my team-mates,” he said.

© 2015 AFP

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