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Benteke a 'bargain' buy - Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes striker Christian Benteke will prove to be a "bargain" buy for the club.

Benteke, 24, joined Liverpool from Aston Villa in July in a deal believed to be worth £32.5million.

Critics have already questioned why the club paid so much for the Belgium international, but Rodgers feels Benteke could show that he is worth even more.

"I've read and seen things about his game, but in the short period of time he's been in, I've been even more impressed," Rodgers said.

"I've seen him up close now for three years, stood at the side of the field and watched this guy - not just his power and strength, but also his footballing ability.

"He's surprised people in the early stages of life at Liverpool with that mobility and the quickness of his feet - and his natural power and strength is there to see."

Rodgers added: "This isn't someone who lacks pace, movement and intelligence. He's not just a guy who you chuck the ball up to.

"Of course, his strength allows you to keep the ball, but he'll really help the unpredictability of our game this season.

"For me, I think he'll prove to be a bargain for the club, I really do."

Despite Rodgers' praise, Benteke may yet play no part for Liverpool in their league opener against Stoke on August 9.

Fellow signing Roberto Firmino is in the same position, and Rodgers said no risks would be taken.

"It's a long season with many competitions and we want to be as successful as we can," the Northern Irishman said.

"For that we need the availability of players. I have a great belief in the squad and if they weren't fit enough, then the players that have been working certainly will be."