Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke has been in fine form for Aston Villa, despite their poor run in the league this season. Getty Images

Neil Mellor has urged Brendan Rodgers to sign Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke in the summer to bolster Liverpool's attacking division.

The Belgium international missed a few games this season due to injury and despite that, he has scored nine goals and managed three assists in the league. The Merseyside club progressed to the last four of the FA Cup.

The Reds will face Villa in the semi-final at Wembley and the former Liverpool striker has warned Rodgers's side. With Champions League qualification looking quite slim for the Anfield outfit, Mellor believes signing Benteke will be a realistic option for his former club.

"I'll be interested to see how Liverpool handle Christian Benteke at Wembley. I'm a big fan of the Belgian. In fact, I think he'd be a really good signing for us," Mellor told the Liverpool Echo.

"I thought he would have been ideal in January, when his stock had fallen, and you may have been able to bring him in for a lower price. Since then, he's started scoring goals again, and his value will be going up."

"There's no question Liverpool are going to be looking for a striker in the summer.

"So while I think it is unrealistic to expect Liverpool to sign a Karim Benzema or an Edinson Cavani without Champions League football, I do think Benteke, a very good player, is obtainable. It'll be good to see how our defence deals with him next weekend," he added.

Liverpool host Newcastle United in the upcoming Premier League clash on Monday (13 April), followed by the FA Cup semi-final showdown at Wembley. Mellor believes Rodgers should field his best playing XI for the tie against the Magpies.

"And though our hopes of a top-four finish are slim at best, I still expect that Brendan Rodgers will name his strongest possible side for Monday night's game," the former Liverpool striker said.

"He has to. Obviously the semi-final is a massive game, and one that every player will want to be involved in."

"Of course it looks unlikely that Liverpool will catch either of the Manchester clubs, but strange things can happen in football. We will be pushing all the way to the end whilst it's possible."

"There is plenty of preparation time between the Newcastle game and the semi, so I don't think there is too much of a need to rotate," Mellor concluded.