In a saga that has seemingly stretched over three summers, Christian Benteke is officially no longer an Aston Villa player. After joining the club from Genk in 2012 for around £8 million, he has been sold to Liverpool for £32.5 million. The move makes him Liverpool's second-biggest ever signing, coming in only behind the £35 million they paid for Andy Carroll in 2011.
Aston Villa won't be receiving all of the £32.5 million from the sale of Benteke, though, as Genk shrewdly added on a 15% sell-on fee to anything above the original amount Aston Villa paid. When that's taken into consideration Villa's net should be something around £28.8 million, or a tidy £20+ million profit.
When you consider the fact that Benteke almost literally saved Aston Villa from relegation for the past three seasons and add in the profit, he may go down as one of the most successful signings in club history. With Benteke around, Aston Villa had the ability to survive and now have given themselves the means to begin a sustainable rebuild to avoid relegation fears in the future.
The importance of Benteke in the last few seasons cannot be overstated, and he's played brilliantly for the club. If any player has earned a move to bigger and better things, it's him. Best of luck in your new home, Christian, and thanks for saving us.