While the two clubs are reportedly yet to figure out an agreeable payment structure, Christian Benteke's move to Liverpool is all but settled. It draws close to a disappointing few days for Aston Villa, who have held firm to their valuation only to be forced into the player's sale just before learning that midfielder Fabian Delph would also be leaving the club, having reversed his earlier reversal and decided that he would join Manchester City after all.
Aside from the cost, it's a success for Liverpool, who have been after the Belgian striker since the start of the summer and finally managed to get their man. He's a player of undoubted quality, and while questions about fit will persist until he's actually in action, he seems a better option than any fit striker currently at the club and will hopefully help to solve the goalscoring problems that plagued Liverpool most of last season.
When he actually joins the club is still up in the air, but it's widely reported that he will undergo his medical at Melwood on Monday, having returned from Aston Villa's preseason trip to Portugal. Once that's settled, the Liverpool hierarchy will decide whether or not he flies off to Malaysia for the final friendly against a Malaysian All-Star squad in Kuala Lumpur.
It would be nice to see the 24-year-old in action as much as possible ahead of the season opener on August 9th, especially given the fact that he didn't feature for Villa in the last week. Training will of course provide the opportunity to develop an understanding with his new teammates, but it's not as though Liverpool can provide much in terms of match action if he doesn't go out to Malaysia, as they've got two friendlies scheduled on back-to-back days against HJK Helsinki and Swindon Town.
With Daniel Sturridge starting the season on the injury list and each of Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini, and Mario Balotelli to be sold, Benteke will be expected to start against Stoke City, and hopefully these next few weeks can provide ample opportunity for him to get acclimated to his new teammates and ready to fire on the season's opening day.