Rodgers taking a huge gamble on Benteke
Benteke is injury-prone and may not suit Pool's style
Brendan Rodgers will always be a haunted man.
The ghosts of transfers past stalk the corridors of Anfield at every turn.
There is the fragmented, clumsy transfer window of last season and there is the brutish spectre of Andy Carroll from 2011.
Rodgers finds himself being pulled between the two ghosts. He can't win.
If he opts for quantity, he is accused of not learning from last season's mistakes.
But if he spends big on Christian Benteke, he could copy the Carroll calamity.
The Liverpool manager didn't buy Carroll (Kenny Dalgish did), but he's reportedly ready to meet Aston Villa's £32.5-million ($70m) buyout price for Benteke.
Rodgers risks repeating the sins of Liverpool's father figure Dalglish.
For a manager not shy in frittering away fortunes at the roulette wheel of the transfer window, Rodgers is taking a considerable gamble with Benteke.
The 24-year-old striker at least differs from Carroll in one obvious aspect. He isn't an impulsive buy at the checkout.
Benteke has been on Rodgers' radar since the end of the season, before Raheem Sterling headed across Lancashire to the mountains of money in Manchester.
The initial concern over the impending transfer isn't one of timing, but of cost.
As with so many of Liverpool's signings, Benteke's price isn't right.
It's over the odds for a striker valued around the £25m mark and prone to bouts of inconsistency and niggling injuries.
Borrowing from the Fernando Torres-Carroll template, Aston Villa are exploiting the £50m burning a hole in the pockets of Liverpool's giddy executives.
But the Anfield accountants are acutely aware of the £10m owed to Queens Park Rangers for their cut of Sterling's sale, bringing the eventual profit much closer to Villa's asking price.
On the balance sheet, Benteke and Sterling become almost like-for-like footballers. On a pitch, they are anything but.
Benteke makes for a bustling, barnstorming, totemic figure around the penalty box, but falls short of Sterling's pace and ingenuity.
His undoubted strengths are also at odds with the striking qualities championed by Rodgers.
After a tentative start to the previous campaign with Villa, Benteke eventually flourished in a conventional attacking role.
Repeating the trick he pulled off at Tottenham with Emmanuel Adebayor, Villa boss Tim Sherwood reactivated the traditional target man, turning Benteke into a muscular mass of velcro.
Everything stuck. In the final months of the campaign, Benteke steered Villa to both Premier League safety and an FA Cup final.
In this respect, Benteke, Adebayor and Carroll are cut from the same cloth: Solid, reliable material to hang around the goalmouth.
But Rodgers favours a gentler approach, with inverted wingers and impudent artists like Philippe Coutinho cutting inside to ping passes off equally nimble teammates.
Last season, a startled Mario Balotelli suffered in the formation, forever looking like a rabbit caught among headlights.
Benteke is a similar footballer, an untypical Rodgers striker. He's also an unusual Liverpool forward in the modern era.
What should be more troubling for exasperated Reds followers is the obvious reason for Benteke's signature. They still lack a reliable goal-scorer.
Despite spending between £35m and £40m on Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings, Liverpool's striking department is still dogged by ifs, buts and maybes. It's a common, infuriating trait of the annual Rodgers spending spree.
When Chelsea needed a striker, Jose Mourinho bought Diego Costa. When Arsenal needed a striker, Arsene Wenger signed Alexis Sanchez.
When Liverpool need a striker, Rodgers grabs Firmino, Ings and Benteke off the shelf like a jittery shopper and hopes for the best.
He wastes too much money to still be wracked by uncertainty.
If Benteke comes on board, Rodgers would've spent £80m. Added to the £120m squandered last season, that's £200m for a side unsure of its strikeforce or even the style required to get the best out of Benteke.
Rodgers can't be blamed for the inevitable comparison between Carroll and Benteke, but the pony-tailed purchase was a one off, a last-minute freebie paid for by Torres' departure.
Benteke, on the other hand, is just the latest signing to come with an inflated price tag and extra question marks.
If the Belgian bombs, Rodgers will be left holding the detonator.
Pool trigger Benteke's release clause
Liverpool have made a £32.5-million ($70m) bid to trigger the release clause of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke.
PA Sport understands chief executive Ian Ayre, in Australia with the Reds for the second leg of the club's pre-season tour, has formally submitted their offer.
He will now continue discussions with Villa over the details of the deal, but Liverpool are hopeful of a swift conclusion to enable the 24-year-old Belgium international to join up with Brendan Rodgers' side as soon as possible.
Manager Rodgers had made the former Genk and Standard Liege forward his primary target to strengthen his forward line, but Benteke's price tag was a major stumbling block.
However, after selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City in a £49m deal, there was a shift in thinking as Rodgers was adamant he wanted to add some strength to his attacking options and a front-line striker who could withstand the rigours of the Premier League.
- PA Sport.
Milner off the mark for Pool
BRISBANE ROAR 1
(Dimitri Petratos 17)
(Adam Lallana 28, James Milner 75)
New recruit James Milner scored the winner as Liverpool recovered from an early goal down to beat Australia's Brisbane Roar 2-1 in a friendly game in Brisbane yesterday.
England midfielder Milner, who joined Liverpool from Premier League rivals Manchester City on a free transfer last month, finished well surrounded by Roar defenders to claim his first goal for his new club in the 75th minute.
Brisbane, in their first match under new coach and former Socceroo striker John Aloisi, looked on par with a rusty Liverpool side before the English giants got the upper hand.
Milner, capped 53 times by his country, slid the ball through the legs of Roar captain Jade North before beating goalkeeper Jamie Young with a deflected shot.
"It's nice to get off the mark (for Liverpool), it's important that we put in a performance early in our pre-season," Milner said.
"It was a good test for us tonight, they're a good team and they gave us exactly what we needed at this stage of the pre-season.
"The amount of time spent together on tour, 24 hours a day, especially for myself and the other new boys to get to know the rest of the lads and the more we play together we can build those relationships on and off the field."
Young made a string of strong saves and had plenty of reason to perform in his reunion with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who recruited him as a teenager into Reading's academy.
Unperturbed by the huge support for Liverpool, Brisbane took a surprise lead after 17 minutes when Dimitri Petratos stepped past Martin Skrtel and unleashed from near the penalty spot to beat Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
But Brisbane's lead lasted only 11 minutes, as Adam Lallana equalised.
The Englishman threw off the advances of Roar defender Jack Hingert, and then found the top corner with a perfectly weighted curling shot.
Liverpool's far greater depth showed as they closed out the match in style in the second half.
The Reds opened their tour with a 4-0 win over the Thai All Stars in Bangkok on Tuesday and they remain in Australia to play Adelaide United on Monday.