Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Christian Benteke Would Be Needless Purchase for Blues
In almost all other areas of life, £25 million can buy you a lot of things. In football, it can buy you Christian Benteke.
The 22-year-old striker burst onto the scene last year at Aston Villa, scoring 19 goals and adding four assists. His time at the club looks close to ending, though. The Guardian's Stuart James reported Benteke gave Villa a transfer request.
This shouldn't come as a shock. Back in November, Benteke talked about how he loved Arsenal and thought Aston Villa were based in London and not Birmingham. The player shouldn't have been criticized for his supposed lack of loyalty but rather for his sheer ignorance before moving to Villa.
Supporters probably knew the clock was ticking on Benteke as soon as the season ended.
There is also a lingering feeling at Villa that they did not get good value when Jermaine Jenas arrived from Spurs on a season’s loan and they are not inclined to do the north Londoners any favours.
However, Chelsea are also in the frame and would be Villa’s choice — though not Benteke’s — if their demands were met as there would be the possibility of a player-plus-cash deal with Romelu Lukaku an obvious make-weight in any transfer.
But Benteke favours a switch to White Hart Lane, mainly because he would be given top billing in a season that leads up to the 2014 World Cup finals and the presence of his compatriots Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele.
You have to wonder why Chelsea would be interested in the first place. Sure Benteke would be an upgrade over Demba Ba and Fernando Torres. For £25 million, though, you ought to get a striker much more established than Benteke.
After all, the BBC's Phil McNulty reported Arsenal bid £30 million for Luis Suarez. For roughly £50 million, the Blues could have had Edinson Cavani. Both forwards offer much better value for Benteke.
Should Chelsea avoid Christian Benteke this summer?
Regarding Benteke, we're not talking about one of the best centre-forwards in the world. Although he did well in the Belgian Pro League, Benteke was still an unknown quality when he arrived at Villa. You're essentially paying £20-25 million for a striker based off of one big season in the Premier League.
Throughout the history of the Premier League, there have been more than a few flashes in the pan who failed to recreate the success of one big season.
Ask Liverpool supporters how that move for Andy Carroll worked out.
Looking at his ability, it's not as if Benteke is suddenly going to become a terrible player. At his supposed price tag, though, you're not even getting close to fair value.
More importantly, Benteke isn't all that different from Romelu Lukaku. Benteke and Lukaku are physical strikers capable of holding up play at the top of the attack.
Lukaku is two years younger and coming off a season in which he scored 18 goals for West Brom. What's the real advantage in swapping him with Benteke? You're getting an older striker who's done about exactly what the younger one has, and you're giving up money to do so.
It doesn't make any sense for the Blues to pursue Benteke, especially at the expense of Lukaku.
There's no way you could have both in the same squad. This isn't FIFA or Football Manager, where you can stockpile as many strikers as you want, no matter their individual styles. By having Lukaku and Benteke on the same team, you'd have two strikers who are mirror images of one another, both demanding first-team football.
You'll have a hard time finding a bigger lose-lose situation for Chelsea than purchasing Benteke.
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