Liverpool Signs Christian Benteke From Aston Villa, Completes Striker Search

Liverpool finally has its man: Christian Benteke

Benteke joined Liverpool from Aston Villa on Wednesday, the Reds announced on their website. Benteke comes to Liverpool after completing a reported  £32.5 million ($50.6 million) transfer, which is the second most expensive in Liverpool’s history.

Benteke is delighted to complete his long-rumored transfer to Liverpool.

“I’m very happy to be here and I would like to thank the owners, Ian (Ayre) and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here,” Benteke said, according to “It’s hard to show your emotion when you’ve just come from doing something (like this) but of course I am very happy.”

Benteke, a 24-year-old, is a longtime target of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. The Belgian striker comes to Anfield with the expectation he’ll shoulder the goal-scoring burden in 2015-16 and beyond — something he did regularly in three seasons with Aston Villa, having scored 49 goals in 101 games for the Premier League club. Benteke also has scored seven goals in 24 games for Belgium’s national team.

Liverpool struggled to score goals in 2014-15, and Rodgers set out to reconstruct his strike force in an effort to correct that. Benteke can become an Anfield hero by doing what he has done better than most in recent years: scoring goals in England’s top flight.

Benteke is Liverpool’s seventh summer signing. He joins Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne as new arrivals. Liverpool now has spent around the £80 million ($125 million) on new players this summer.

Only Andy Carroll, who joined Liverpool from Newcastle for £35 million ($55 million) in 2011, has cost the Reds more money to acquire than Benteke. Benteke and Liverpool fans hope his Anfield tenure is vastly more successful than Carroll’s.

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