There was little doubt, upon his arrival at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp did not see a future at Anfield, for Christian Benteke. The Belgian international has only been at Liverpool for just over a year, having been signed by now Celtic boss, Brendan Rodgers, for £32.5 million in July 2015.
Klopp has accepted an offer from Crystal Palace, of around £27 million, plus add-ons for the striker and if there are no last minute problems with the medical, Benteke will become a Palace player. During his time at Liverpool, Benteke made 42 appearances, scoring 10 goals and this season, it has become painfully clear, Klopp does not want to keep him at the club. Benteke failed to feature in any of Liverpool’s nine pre-season friendlies and Klopp has said in his press conferences, he was willing to listen to serious offers.
Having only lasted one season at Anfield, isn’t to say Benteke is not a good striker and in the right system, he is capable of causing trouble for any defence. However, he simply did not suit the style in which Klopp wants his team to play, therefore, it makes sense to move him and use the funds to strengthen the team, with players Klopp does think will work well in his system.
So, with close to £30 million in the coffers, Klopp has additional transfer funds at his disposal. The question is, on what position and on which players, should he spend it?
With Benteke gone, Liverpool still have Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings as traditional strikers plus Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, who can operate in the forward positions. Mario Balotelli will not be featuring but Klopp may feel he has enough in that area of the team, without the need to bring in another player. However, the injury record of the three genuine strikers must be a concern.
That being said, in the first choice starting XI, it is still the left-back position, which clearly needs strengthening. Alberto Moreno is not a bad player but bad decision-making costs games and unfortunately, the Spaniard has shown he has too many mistakes in his locker. Therefore, it’s time to invest in a quality left-back and with the money in place, now is the right time to make a move for Ricardo Rodriguez. The Swiss left-back, who currently plays for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, possesses everything Klopp is looking for in a full-back.
The first thing to note is how comfortable he is in defensive situations. Whether it be positional sense, attacking the ball in the air or making timely interceptions, Rodriguez has shown he is more than capable when his team is under pressure. Furthermore, Rodriguez is outstanding going forward. He is quick, good on the ball, crosses very well and is capable of scoring from long range, making him a real threat when on the attack.
The asking price for Rodriguez, is likely to be upward of £20 million but at the age of 23, he would be a great acquisition, who could play for the club for close to ten years. With time running out in the transfer window, now is the time to act and cement, what has been a good summer of transfer activity for Liverpool
Watch Ricardo Rodriguez in action below.