Poll: Will Benteke be top dog in Liverpool attack?
Liverpool are set to complete the £32.5m signing of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa this week and with an impressive goal record the Belgian will expect to be first choice at Anfield.
The Reds though are well stocked up front and although Rickie Lambert appears to be heading for the exit, with West Brom leading the chase for the veteran striker, there will be plenty of competition for game time.
Benteke, 24, has been a thorn in Liverpool’s side over the years but will look to repair that damage by bagging a hatful of strikes for the Reds this season.
But how will he fare against his rival front men? Read on to see where the competition lies and have your say in today’s Ladbrokes News poll.
When free from injury and on top form there are few strikers in England more deadly than Sturridge. However, the former Chelsea and Manchester City forward’s career has been blighted by injury, limiting two just two campaigns of 30+ games in 11 seasons as a professional.
His return of 24 goals from 33 games in 2013-14 shows what can be achieved when he’s firing on all cylinders so providing he stays fit he could show Benteke who’s boss.
Looking at the Belgian’s goal record so far it’s hard to see why Liverpool were so keen to snap him up. Returns of one, six and nine goals for Lille show he’s moving in the right direction but with last year’s tally coming from 45 appearances it’s clear there’s work to be done.
Named in the Worst XI of Ligue 1 last year the 20-year-old will need a sharp upturn in performances if he’s to keep his countryman and Sturridge out of the Reds’ starting line-up.
When given a run in the team Balotelli can and will score goals. He netted 28 in 86 at Inter, 30 in 80 at Manchester City and 30 in 54 at Milan but the wheels have come off at Anfield.
A return of just four strikes in 28 games since his £16m switch means the Italian is still talked about for his off-field antics more than his scoring prowess.
Just four years ago Ings was plying his trade in the Conference South for Dorchester Town.
Bournemouth’s poor finances at the time saw Eddie Howe take him to Burnley where 43 goals in 130 games helped the Clarets earn promotion to the Premier League and put up a gallant, if unsuccessful, effort to remain there.
Ings had nine goals by February last season and looked to have taken the step up to the top flight in his stride. However a return of just two goals in his last 15 games and the arrival of Benteke at Anfield will have the 22-year-old concerned for his future already.
Benteke made a name for himself in the Eredivisie by smashing 20 goals in 41 games for Genk and that record of a goal every two games has been maintained in a struggling Villa side.
The Belgian hit 49 strikes in 100 games for the Villans and with the level of support likely to be higher at Anfield a double-digit return looks assured.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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