Summer signing Christian Benteke admits wearing Liverpool’s number nine shirt means he has a lot to live up to at Anfield.
The Belgian striker became the second most expensive signing in the Reds’ history when he joined from Aston Villa for £32.5million in the summer.
Handed the squad number famous for the likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres, the 24-year-old has shown glimpses of his goal-scoring prowess, although injuries have disrupted his start to life at Anfield.
“When the deal was going through, I sat and searched. I looked at what the club had won, how many leagues, how many Champions Leagues. That kind of thing,” Benteke told the Daily Mail.
“I saw that the top scorer was Ian Rush. He’s got a figure like 300 and something (346). Wow. He was from Wales, yes? It was important for me [to learn] because I wanted to know where I was going.
“I wanted to know what was expected. I know great strikers wore number nine in the past, yes. But I don’t put pressure on myself. I just do as well as I can to help the club.
“They told me that the number was available and it would be good for me. So I took it. This is a step up but that was the reason I wanted to come. The expectation is big but that is good. I have to deal with it.”
Benteke was brought to Anfield by Brendan Rodgers, only for the Northern Irishman to be sacked a couple of months later.
Jurgen Klopp has since taken over and is a long-term admirer of the forward, having tried to sign him for Borussia Dortmund.
“It was after my first year at Aston Villa. My agent and the manager had a meeting about maybe doing a transfer but nothing happened,” he added.
“But it doesn’t matter that he tried to sign me before. Liverpool are a massive club and you have to fight for your place. It isn’t easy.”