Christian Benteke football
Christian Benteke's eye for goal could be crucial for Liverpool this season Getty Images

Liverpool have spent big to secure the services of striker Christian Benteke, with the club confirming the arrival of the Belgian international on 22 July.

Good players don't come cheap these days, and Brendan Rodgers clearly believes the £32.5m ($50.6m) minimum fee release clause in the player's contract was worth meeting. Why? Because the Reds need goals.

When Liverpool were challenging for the Premier League title during the 2013-14 campaign, a certain Luis Suarez scored 31 times. Last season, after the Uruguayan moved on to Barcelona, top scorer Steven Gerrard had nine to his name while Raheem Sterling was second on the list with seven. Neither will be at Anfield next season.

Steven Gerrard Raheem Sterling Liverpool
Rodgers can no longer rely on goals from Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling Getty Images

While emulating Suarez and scoring over 30 goals will be close to impossible, Benteke certainly has the pedigree to bridge the vast gap that appeared last season. His own record of just under a goal every other game in the Premier League (42 in 88) certainly stacks up against some of the best, and when you consider he's managed to do that in a struggling Aston Villa side, it's no surprise to see the transfer fee paid.

A fully fit Daniel Sturridge will also help on the goalscoring front, while Danny Ings has been drafted in from Burnley to make an impact in that area as well. Fringe players like Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert look increasingly likely to be heading in the opposite direction, and Divock Origi remains an unknown quantity at the top level of English football. As for Mario Balotelli, who knows what you'll get on any given day.

Of all the players mentioned, Benteke stands out as the typical number nine. Power, pace, an eye for goal with both his feet and head – the 24-year-old has already shown that he can put it all together at the highest level.

That doesn't necessarily mean he will be a success at Liverpool, but a slight tinkering of the philosophy might just make it work. Rodgers needs it to work because if it doesn't, fingers will start pointing and the pressure will begin to mount.

Brendan Rodgers Liverpool
Rodgers is under pressure to achieve success at Anfield. Getty Images

One particular strength of Benteke is his ability in the air, but the Reds only scored five headed goals last season. Supplying the fewest crosses in the division might explain why and if Rodgers wants to use this attribute then players will need to be encouraged to get the ball in the box more frequently.

That's not to say that the philosophy followed when Andy Carroll was at the club needs to come back into fashion. After handing Newcastle £35m for the England forward, Liverpool became guilty of tossing the ball into the box from all angles in the hope that the big man would win a flick on or be able to head it goalwards.

It had its merits when chasing a game late on but more generally, it just didn't work. Because of that, Carroll is now the benchmark of a failed big-money signing at Anfield and because the two fees are so similar, comparisons are likely to be made once the season kicks off.

Andy Carroll Liverpool
Andy Carroll endured some difficult times following his £35m move to Liverpool Getty Images

Carroll was a panic buy. Benteke is not. In searching for a player with Premier League experience and goals, there are few who rival the former Genk hitman and were readily available. Manchester United would not sell a Robin van Persie to Liverpool, whilst Graziano Pelle and Harry Kane need to score goals again to earn comparison. Quite frankly, who else is there?

Liverpool have already dipped into the foreign market with the £29m signing of Roberto Firmino, and while he's somewhat of an unknown quantity his arrival has certainly got fans excited. When a club pays big money for a Brazilian playmaker, there is a certain level of expectation that comes with it.

If he hits the ground running, then it's only going to be of benefit to Benteke. If he struggles to settle, then the pressure will be on Philippe Coutinho to create chances. Adam Lallana isn't a bad option in the attacking midfield area, while Jordan Henderson has shown an improved level of creativity in recent times – most recently with an imaginative rabona pass during pre-season that led to a goal.

Roberto Firmino Hoffenheim
Big things are expected of Roberto Firmino following his move from Hoffenheim Getty Images

This Liverpool side will create chances, and Benteke is someone who can take them. His eye for goal is proved by the fact that Sergio Aguero is the only current Premier League player who has scored more in the past three seasons.

Perhaps the biggest question about the Belgian is his general close control and ability to link play on a regular basis. That's something club legend Jamie Carragher highlighted in his most recent Daily Mail column, also suggesting that the player can appear disinterested at times.

With Liverpool looking to challenge for a return to the Champions League at the very least, Benteke will not have time to rest on his laurels (and his sizeable signing-on fee). Surrounded by internationals, he will quickly learn that he's no longer a big fish in a small pond. The need to improve will be clear and at the club's Melwood training facility, he'll be given every opportunity to do so.

"I think it was the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and wanted to be part of his project. I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team," he told LFC TV after completing his medical, according to SkySports.

For everything that's been thrown at Rodgers in recent times, he is still well regarded as a coach and will know what he needs to get out of his new striker. While the Balotelli narrative was about managing an ego, Benteke is about refining some specific skill areas. His new boss can certainly point to past examples where he's had success in that area. Suarez himself credited the Northern Irishman for helping develop his game while at the club.

Luis Suarez Brendan Rodgers
Luis Suarez credits Brendan Rodgers with helping to develop his game further Getty Images

Benteke is not the finished article. He will need to improve his distribution and link-up play on the floor if he's to be a long-term success at Liverpool. That said, the fans will be interested in one thing – goals.

Liverpool only scored 52 of them in the Premier League last season, and a player who reaches double figures will quickly become a hit. Should the rest of his game improve over time – and let's not forget Benteke is only 24 – then this could prove to be one of the best signings in recent years at Anfield.