After Liverpool and Crystal Palace agreed a £32 million deal for Christian Benteke on Thursday, the former Aston Villa striker completed his medical today. Personal terms have been agreed along with other contractual details with an announcement set for Saturday.
The deal comprises of £27 million guaranteed with a further £5 million in add-ons. It's likely that a significant portion, if not all, of the additional £5 million will arrive over time unlike the unreasonable add-ons in a bid that was rejected earlier this week. After 13 months at Liverpool as the club's second highest transfer in the club's history, Benteke will move on.
Yannick Bolasie moving to Everton created even more of a need for Crystal Palace to secure a reliable goalscorer, and armed with extra cash from Liverpool's locals rivals, a deal seemed inevitable. Alan Pardew spoke of how Benteke would fit in at the South London side ahead of the transfer.
“He got the move to Liverpool and it hasn’t quite worked out. For us, we need to get him back to doing what he does best. His style of play, the way he feeds off crosses … we’re the top crossing team in the Premier League bar one, I think, so he’ll enjoy that with the wide players we have. But he’s not our player yet.”
Christian Benteke scored nine goals in 29 league appearances (14 starts) last season, scoring a goal every 168.88 minutes—comparable to his average of a goal every 174.57 league minutes over three seasons at Aston Villa. Crystal Palace will be hoping for Benteke at his best and have the style as well as personnel to exploit his qualities.
For Liverpool, this represents excellent business after a disappointing season where the striker looked ill-suited for Jürgen Klopp's particular tactical demands. Brendan Rodgers was determined to bring in Benteke last summer, a move that proved to be a mistake. A year or so on, it appears that Liverpool can move on under a superior manager without making a significant loss on a good player and professional who wasn't what the club needed in attack.