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Carragher Weighs in on “Devastating and Infuriating” Benteke

Liverpool finally got the striker they were chasing, but while few doubt Christian Benteke's talent, many—including ex-Red Jamie Carragher—wonder about his fit.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

A common theme amongst Liverpool fans when it became clear the club had made Christian Benteke their top striker target was concern over whether he was a good fit. There was little doubt about his talent, but his style seemed more suited to a more direct and physical side and an odd match for Liverpool’s two-deep collection of highly technical midfielders.

It turns out ex-Reds legend and Sky pundit Jamie Carragher shares many of those concerns, seeing Benteke as a highly skilled player but one who might still fail to work at Liverpool. Speaking in his Daily Mail column, the defender mixed equal parts concern and hope about a player many believe they already know everything about after watching him regularly over three seasons with Aston Villa.

"There are no secrets about players in England," began Carragher. "We know all there is to know. So while we’ve been impressed by how Benteke has torn teams apart—Liverpool, against who he scored five goals in six games, have really suffered—we also know when his touch has been por and his lack of interest has been apparent. He can be devastating and infuriating in equal measure."

For £32.5M, though, the expectation will be for a player who is devastating week in and week out. And the talent is there for Benteke to be that kind of a striker for Liverpool. At least if Brendan Rodgers can figure out a way to shape the rest of the team around Benteke to get the most out of him. If he isn’t able—or, as with some past strikers, willing—it could be another frustrating, infuriating season.

"I like him as a striker and actually think he would be great for Chelsea," Carragher added. "My worry at Liverpool is, will he be suited to the short, sharp, and incisive passing game that Rodgers favours? Brendan wants his side to play through teams rather than getting the ball into him from wide areas, a fact Tim Sherwood pointed out as soon as Liverpool’s interest became public."

Christian Benteke scored 49 goals in 100 games for Aston Villa over three seasons, with 42 of those goals coming in 88 Premier League matches. There is little doubt that if he is put in a position to succeed—a position to score goals—he will deliver. The only question, and it’s one many fans share with Carragher, is whether Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side will manage to do that.

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