Liverpool hand Christian Benteke the number nine shirt

Liverpool have confirmed new striker Christian Benteke as their new number nine as Rickie Lambert draws closer to a move to West Bromwich Albion, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Belgian international completed his move from Aston Villa last week, but a shirt number wasn’t then handed to him.

And the Echo believe that is because The Reds were waiting for Lambert to decide whether he wanted to move on or stay to fight for a place despite increased competition for a starting berth this season.

Lambert is currently undergoing a medical with West Brom (via Sky Sports) and will leave with 12 months left to run on his deal at Anfield.

The 33-year-old only joined the club in a £4m deal from Southampton last summer (via BBC) but was unable to build on the impressive reputation he’d built on the south coast by firing in just three goals in 36 appearances.

Benteke wore the number 20 shirt during his three seasons with Villa, but with that number already occupied by Adam Lallana, he will now take up the number nine once Lambert’s move becomes official.

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