The international break is a very quiet time for most clubs, especially now that the transfer window has ended. But for a team with a shaky start like Manchester United, already thinking about what they’re going to do in January, which might include trying to sign Christian Benteke from Aston Villa, is simply a natural thing.
While Robin van Persie had a red hot start to the season on the first win over Swansea, United followed that by failing to score in two consecutive matches: The 0-0 draw at home against Chelsea and the 1-0 loss to Liverpool, an encounter in which United struggled to create clear cut chances for their Dutch striker.
There’s Wayne Rooney, obviously, who didn’t even play against Liverpool, but it doesn’t seem like his intended role will be that of a striker. David Moyes isn’t playing with an attacking midfielder at the moment, leaving Shinji Kagawa on the bench, which means Rooney is intended for the left wing, more or less.
So why a striker? Because Javier Hernandez, despite his impressive goals-per-minute ratio, doesn’t get treated like someone who can score goals. Danny Welbeck is completely depndant on his partner up front, and is more useful as a tactical tool than a scoring machine.
Benteke? He can do all of that, and more. Aston Villa managed to tie the Belgian player down with a deal of £60,000 per week, while Benteke realized that leaving to Chelsea isn’t in his best interest, because of the chance he won’t be getting too much playing time there.
But when big clubs keep calling, a player has to have his head turned at some point. Benteke doesn’t want to remain with Villa forever, and the club isn’t going to generate cash without selling him at one point or the other. United won’t be alone in the chase for him as he’s scored 22 goals in 37 Premier League appearances so far, but the early bird often gets the worm, and starting the pressure on him and Villa right now might reap benefits in January or next summer.