Benteke an upgrade on Balotelli, says Barnes

The Belgian joined the club in a big-money summer transfer from Aston Villa and the Reds legend has little doubt that he will prove a better buy than the firebrand Italian

Liverpool legend John Barnes is confident Christian Benteke will prove to be a major upgrade on Mario Balotelli and form a fine partnership with Daniel Sturridge .

Benteke was signed from Aston Villa during the summer after Balotelli failed to make an impact during his one and only season at Anfield, with the Italian eventually returning to former club AC Milan.

Benteke netted the winner in the 1-0 victory over Bournemouth – Liverpool’s opening home game – while also finding the net versus Manchester United, and Barnes has little doubt he will succeed on Merseyside.

“Balotelli and Benteke are completely different players,” Barnes was quoted as saying by The Daily Star .

“Benteke loves high balls, he’s strong, he’s got a great attitude and he runs the channels, whereas Balotelli is different.

“It’s a completely different partnership [Sturridge and Benteke compared to Sturridge and Balotelli].

“Benteke is a completely different kettle of fish. He has a much better attitude, so I’m hopeful he’ll be a better option alongside Sturridge.”

The 24-year-old is recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up against Norwich City at the weekend.

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