Manchester Utd could trump Liverpool by buying better Belgian

As Liverpool stuttered to their third loss in four Premier League away matches at West Ham, £32m striker Christian Benteke picked up plenty of flack on the airwaves and the Twittersphere for another lacklustre display.

The big Belgian had responded well to winning his place back in recent weeks, bagging the only goals in 1-0 wins over Leicester and Sunderland having come on as a substitute for injured countryman Divock Origi against the high-flying Foxes.

However, it seems the daggers are once again drawn for the 25-year-old, who suffers in comparison to fellow Belgian-on-Merseyside Romelu Lukaku, scorer of a whopping 11 goals in his last 10 games in the blue of Everton.

Lukaku’s efforts haven’t done the Toffees much good, with Roberto Martinez’s men languishing in 11th in the oh-so-strange 2015/16 Premier League table, four points behind Liverpool at the time of writing, but the 22-year-old’s stock has never been higher.

The former Chelsea man’s form is clearly no flash in the pan, with 71 top-flight goals registered by Lukaku in the past three-and-a-half seasons, so reported January interest from shot-shy Manchester United ought not be much of a surprise.

Prior to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Swansea, United had gone eight all-competition fixtures without tasting victory, managing just five goals during that run, two of which came in a 3-2 Champions League loss at Wolfsburg.

After a promising start, young Frenchman Anthony Martial has managed just seven goals in 22 appearances for his new club, while captain Wayne Rooney has the same number of strikes in a season so far ravaged by injury and poor form.

Boss Louis van Gaal seems constantly on the brink of the exit door, but the Daily Mirror believes United are ready to back the veteran Dutchman with another wedge of transfer cash this January.

Lukaku, fellow Everton youngster John Stones and Lazio’s Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson are thought to be the 13-time Premier League champions’ top targets.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.