Chelsea have been in the market for strikers this summer, but one that they should avoid is Christian Benteke.
On paper, this would be a smart addition for any club. The 22-year-old Aston Villa forward finished fourth in the English Premier League last season with 19 goals and should continue to get better as he gains more experience.
Additionally, he recently became available when he officially put in a transfer request, which was confirmed by his manager Paul Lambert. According to James Dickenson of the Express, the coach expressed his displeasure with the move:
While we're hugely disappointed that Christian has put in a transfer request, it's important that people appreciate we are trying to build something strong and vibrant here at the club - something this club demands and stands for, and we want Christian to be part of that.
Neil Moxley of the Daily Mail reports that he will be made available for £25 million, with Chelsea and Tottenham being the early favorites to acquire his services. He writes that Aston Villa thinks the Blues can bring the best return:
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.
If this is what the fellow EPL club is expecting, they can end the conversation in a hurry.
Romelu Lukaku is one of the bright young stars in the sport. Despite being only 20 years old, he scored 17 goals in league play while on loan with West Bromwich Albion. He should return to Chelsea this season and make a huge impact going forward.
The two Belgian players proved their ability throughout the season and would be certain to help the Europa League champs next year. However, it does not make sense to make a deal for one player with another one already on the roster.
Lukaku is younger and shows more promise with the size and athleticism to beat any opponent to the ball. As he gets more time on the pitch, he will perfect his finishing ability to become one of the top strikers in the world.
Even if Chelsea were able to bring Benteke without giving up Lukaku, the two players are too similar to make the transfer worth the cost. The pair even struggle to play at the same time on the Belgian national team.
Additionally, the club must stop getting into a pattern of simply buying players who scored a lot of goals on other EPL teams.
Not only has Fernando Torres failed to live up to expectations, but Demba Ba also struggled in league player last season. After scoring 13 goals in 19 matches for Newcastle United, he scored only two in 11 matches for Chelsea.
Still, each of these two forwards has enough talent to keep on the roster heading into next season while hoping for better showings. Torres proved in European competitions that he still has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
With these two players contributing as well as the addition of Lukaku, Chelsea should be just fine on the front line. If they do decide to bring someone in as a transfer, it would be better if it was a more established player who has been successful for many years to help Chelsea contend for a title.
Either way, Benteke would be better off joining some other club where he could be guaranteed playing time. Chelsea would struggle to get him on the first team, and he would be an absolute waste of the transfer budget.
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