Anfield debut trend a boon to Benteke’s Liverpool ambitions
When you glance at the Liverpool annals, there are plenty of forgettable players to have marked their Anfield bows with a goal, but there are also a fair few legendary ones Christian Benteke will be hoping to emulate.
While debut home strikes for the likes of El Hadji Diouf and Andriy Vorinin proved not to be precursors for standout Liverpool careers in the Premier League era, it was a very different story for a floppy-haired Spaniard and a spellbinding Uruguayan.
Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez wrote their names into Kop folklore for their amazing impacts on Merseyside, despite not being able to quite get Liverpool over the title-winning line.
Latterly, Daniel Sturridge gave a glimpse of what he could bring to the table, firing against Norwich when appearing in front of the Anfield faithful for the first time after joining from Chelsea in January 2013.
Benteke now adds his name to the list, albeit in controversial circumstances against Bournemouth, leaving Reds fans dreaming the Belgian will be their next Kop idol to worship.
Best not to whisper the name Andy Carroll too loudly in such company, but at least the West Ham man doesn’t feature in the Anfield debut record books.
With the club’s American owners present in the stands to cast their peepers over what £32.5m worth of investment promised to deliver against the Cherries, there was added pressure on Liverpool’s second most expensive player to perform.
Although Philippe Coutinho did his utmost to get Benteke’s first-half strike scrubbed off, John W Henry and co must have been pretty pleased with what they witnessed.
Only a fantastic save from Artur Boruc denied the former Aston Villa ace a second late on, and it was a consummate showing from the 24-year-old.
While he used his considerable frame to win things in the air, Benteke’s display contained fine hold up play, backheels which stuck and the odd switch of play sprayed across the park.
It’s way too early to make hugely-bold statements, but perhaps also quite telling that only 2/1 favourite Sergio Aguero is in front of the 9/1-rated Liverpool man to be crowned Premier League top goalscorer in 2015/16.
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