Spurs dodge Benteke bullet

Spurs may have dodged a bullet when Christian Benteke signed a new 'double your money,' contract if reports of the figures are correct, with Aston Villa.

Nobody denies he may go on to be an excellent goalscorer over time but he divides opinion, for many the jury is still out.

His only season in the Premier League produced 16 goals from open play, we discount the 3 penalties as they are handed on a plate to anyone who wants to take them and you don't pay £25 million for someone to take a spot kick.

Now we have to be a little careful with games because Defoe for instance came on for 1 minute in the League Cup and that counts as a game which distorts figures, (as do penalties) as well as having to get up with the speed of a game and work yourself into it.

Games started is always a key figure or we could consider playing minutes so I'll throw them in and you can pluck out the statistics that support your viewpoint.

Christian Benteke
19 in 34 league games (but 3 penalties and only 2 as sub) - 55.88% (inc pen figure)
23 in 39 club games (3 pens, 2 sub) - 58.97% (from open play 51.28%)
16 (open play) in 32 league games started - 50%
Scored in 15 different league games
176 minutes per league goal (from open play)
Played 2,819 league minutes
Played 3,299 Aston Villa club minutes

Jermain Defoe
11 in 34 league games (but 7 as sub) - 32.35%
15 in 43 club games (9 as sub) - 34.88
10 in 27 league games started - 37%
Scored in 8 different league games
240 minutes per league goal
Played 2,409 league minutes
Played 3,204 Spurs club minutes

Which ever way you want to look at it he stacks up well against Defoe whose value is about 28% of that of Benteke (£7m as opposed to £25m).

Remember a certain Nikica Jelavić (Everton)? Many fans were wanting us to buy him last summer but I don't hear to many suggesting it now. Let's have a look at his record for the season 2011/12 season he arrived at the end of the January transfer window.

Nikica Jelavić 2011/12
9 in 10 league games (1 pen, 3 as sub) - 90%
11 in 13 club games (3 as sub) - 84.62%
8 (open play) in 6 league games started - 133.33%
Scored in 6 different league games
106 minutes per league goal
Played 954 league minutes -
Played 1,220 Everton club minutes

Very impressive statistics that blow Benteke out the water. Spurs fans calling for his signing, but what happened next?

Nikica Jelavić 2012/13
7 in 37 games (11 as sub) - 18.92% - he got taken off 13 times
8 in 43 club games (12 as sub) - 18.6%
5 in 26 league games started - 19.23%
Scored in 6 different league games
347 minutes per league goal
Played 2,428 league minutes
Played 2,881 Everton club minutes

Yes not quite so impressive, not worth the £15 million price tag rumored at the time. In fact he was dreadful, he couldn't even get in the squad sometimes and rumours were Everton were trying to loan him to a Championship club.

Now that won't be happening to Benteke I'm sure, but it does highlight paying vast sums of money for a striker who has only done it once at the top level is a financial gamble, nobody would have expected Jelavić to flop, but he did. It's fine to gamble if you are a rich club, but Spurs are not, they are run soundly and transfer business mustn't put that at risk.

Benteke may well bang in the goals next season but there is no guarantee. Paying £25 million for a gamble is over the top for his achievements to date, £15 million would perhaps be more the mark.

He has undoubted potential but you can't get away from the fact that when it mattered to get his side to a cup final, he bottled it. He missed sitter after sitter after sitter in both legs and against Arsenal he couldn't control the ball or pass to his own side. He made Adebayor look like a world beater. His all round game needs a lot of work.

Adebayor was brilliant in his first season for us but then as we were told he would by Arsenal fans, he dried up when he'd signed a contract and got his money secured. Benteke moves from club to club and again seems money motivated. His agent has worked Villa well to double his wages, they'll have the same problem next season when he'll want more money.

If he bangs in the goals next season then yes he'll be worth £25 million then but you also have to look around and say which strikers can we buy for the same money. There are always plenty to choose from.

The possibles we have looked at arguably in order, some dismissed, some tried for:
Leandro Damiao - can't sort a deal
David Villa - went to Athletico Madrid (Spain)
Hulk - can't afford, loan deal offered not taken up
Gonzalo Higuain - cost too much
Robert Soldado - still negotiating
Gerard Deulofeu - went to Everton on loan
Alvaro Negrado - going to Man City
Heung-Min Son - went to Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Germany)
Christian Benitez - went to El-Jaish (Qatar)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - went to Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Christian Benteke - Aston Villa

I'd have been happy Benteke had signed but not at the figures Aston Villa were expecting. Roberto Soldado or a striker of that proven quality for the same money makes far more sense.




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