LEAKED photo reveals replacement for new big-money Liverpool striker

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Aston Villa appear to have completed the signing of Blackburn Rovers forward Rudy Gestede, according to a leaked photo shared on social media.

According to reports in France earlier on Friday, the forward is set to arrive as the direct replacement for new Liverpool frontman Christian Benteke.

L’Equipe note that the Benin forward is on the brink of completing his move to Villa Park, where he will sign for the Villains for five years.

The powerful attacker managed 20 goals in the Championship last season, and will replicated the physical presence lost with the departure of Christian Benteke—the man he is ostensibly replacing.

The Belgian forward left Aston Villa for Liverpool earlier in the summer, moving to Anfield for £32.5 million [Telegraph].

While the departing Benteke leaves Villa with question marks still hanging over his fitness—the hitman endured regular spells on the sidelines during his time in Birmingham—he leaves a massive void at the pinnacle of Tim Sherwood’s attack.

Last season, the ex-Genk striker managed 13 goals in 29 Premier League outings. His goals were influential in the Villains surviving the drop, and it is telling that the club’s next-highest scorer—Gaby Agbonlahor—managed only six goals.

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The loss of such a critical figure leaves Villa at risk of another relegation battle, and Sherwood will be hoping that Gestede can replace the goals lost with Benteke’s exit to Liverpool.

Another new recruit, ex-FC Lorient forward Jordan Ayew [BBC Sport], will also be expected to find the net with some measure of regularity.

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