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Benteke watch


Didiersix
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I watched the Belgium v Croatia game tonight where Benteke played the full 90 minutes. Having not seen that much of him before, the overall impression was a good one - although he is far from complete.

Willmots played him as the target man with two wide players supporting... He acquitted himself well in the first half, won everything in the air (he is excellent at flick ons) but had one golden chance that he fluffed.

Put clean through on the edge of the box, he had a very heavy first touch which allowed the keeper to collect.

Then, at the start of the second half, he had a shot cleared off near the line - he couldn't have done much more with it to be fair.

I thought though he tired a little towards the end - although he looked pretty pacy throughout (caveat being Croatia aren't the quickest at the back).

Overall I'd say we have got a striker with real potential who gets into good positions and will definitely lead the line well. How he would link with Bent though... That I am not sure about.

It finished 1-1 by the way.

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I watched the second half of the game tonight and I think he touched the ball about 4 times!

That said, he looks very big and strong.

My main concern is how he plays alongside Bent/Gabby. I still would have preferred a striker who drops off from time to time in the mould of a Tevez/Zarate but I suppose you need all types of strikers in a squad to compete.

He will give us options and he certainly has time to improve.

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Benteke will be our Heskey. Only with more ability, more popular with fans and not due a free bus pass any time soon.

He'll be utilised as a target man when the game needs it, or he'll be used to hold the ball up in the opponents half when we're defending a lead and been forced to defend deep.

Sounds like he has a great deal of potential but I can't see him playing or scoring much this season, not the way that Lambert has set up the team to play. He will offer a very good alternative to our current style though.

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How he would link with Bent though... That I am not sure about

Well for a start off it'll free Bent from trying to win those balls in the air that he seldom does. He did a better job of it against Newcastle, but against Everton I'm pretty sure he only won one ball in the air - managing to flick it on to...well, nobody. Hopefully Benteke will be employed to win some of those balls, allowing Bent to lurk on the shoulder of the last defender/edge of the box/etc.

Also hope to see at least a handful of goals from corners and free kicks this season with Benteke in the team.

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If Benteke would be the cross between Heskey and Carew, i.e. the ability to keep the ball, make flick ons, and score goals and bruise a few defenders along the way, and stay out of the Rocket, I will be delighted.

Are those expectations too high ? Am I asking too much ?

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Sounds like he has a great deal of potential but I can't see him playing or scoring much this season, not the way that Lambert has set up the team to play.

I think he'll get plenty of game time. I think there will be plenty of games when Lambert will want someone big and strong up front. Also a great option from the bench if we need to unsettle a defence.

As for scoring, we'll have to wait and see but his record so far is very good.

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How he would link with Bent though... That I am not sure about

Well for a start off it'll free Bent from trying to win those balls in the air that he seldom does. He did a better job of it against Newcastle, but against Everton I'm pretty sure he only won one ball in the air - managing to flick it on to...well, nobody. Hopefully Benteke will be employed to win some of those balls, allowing Bent to lurk on the shoulder of the last defender/edge of the box/etc.

Also hope to see at least a handful of goals from corners and free kicks this season with Benteke in the team.

Agree. No reason he can't partner Bent, plus his physical presence should help us get goals at set pieces. Even if he isn't the one putting the ball in the net.

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