Former Liverpool favourite Robbie Fowler has revealed his delight at the early performances of Christian Benteke, who he believes has been a huge success since moving to the club earlier this summer.
The Belgian centre-forward, who joined us from Aston Villa for £32.5m last month (via BBC Sport), has scored twice in his first three games for the club – on his debut against Swindon in a pre-season friendly and again against Bournemouth on his first appearance at Anfield.
He’s now preparing to take on Arsenal this coming Monday, which will be the first real test of his credentials as a world class striker. The 24-year-old will likely be up front on his own once again and it will be imperative that he holds the ball up well and brings his teammates into the game.
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Fowler promised last month that his latest successor in the Liverpool number nine shirt would be a success and he’s feeling even more confident after seeing how he’s performed thus far.
“It’s been a great start for Benteke and that goal will do him the world of good,” Fowler told the Liverpool Echo.
“When you join a new club you want to hit the ground running and that will ease a few nerves. It probably shouldn’t have counted with Philippe Coutinho standing in an offside position but as a striker you take a bit of luck like that.”
There have been concerns that Benteke’s style of play would not be suited to us, with his reputation predominately being that or a target man, rather than the pace-reliant strikers we’ve previously gone for in recent years. But Fowler feels like the change in the style can only be considered a good thing.
“With Benteke in the side, we’ve probably seen more longer balls than we’ve been used to from Liverpool,” he added. “But there is no perfect way of playing. I’m one of those who doesn’t go on about whether we should play the long ball or the short ball, it’s about the right ball.
“I’ve got no problem with playing it long if it’s the best ball on and when you’ve got someone like Benteke up front that’s going to be the right ball at times. Having Benteke up there gives you the option of being able to mix it up.
“He’s strong in the air and wins the flick-ons but he can also play with the ball at his feet and create space for others. He has the ability to hold it up and bring team-mates into play.”
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