Liverpool striker Christian Benteke completes Crystal Palace move

Christian Benteke has officially completed his move to Crystal Palace, worth an initial £27 million, from Liverpool.

The striker's exit has long been expected and the Reds could bank as much as £32 million - if performance-related add-ons are eventually exercised.

The £110,000-a-week Belgian international signs a four-year deal to end a disappointing 12 months at Liverpool, although he had some highlights - including a wonderful bicycle kick away at Manchester United in September.

He took to Twitter to thank the "amazing supporters" that were there for him "even in the hard moments during the season" and said: "It was a pleasure playing for such an amazing club as Liverpool FC. It's an experience I will never forget. #YNWA."

Benteke only moved to Anfield last summer, completing a £32.5 million to end a three-year stay with Aston Villa with then manager Brendan Rodgers viewing him as the man to arrest the club's goalscoring decline.

But his gamble backfired and with Rodgers sacked by October 8, just 11 games into the season, Benteke fell down the pecking order under Jürgen Klopp - whose demands from a frontman were a contrast of the qualities of the 25-year-old.

Nevertheless, the striker's quality is clear for all to see - having almost kept Villa up single-handedly in previous seasons with an excellent 42 goals in 89 league games.

He still managed 10 goals in 42 Liverpool appearances, only 20 of which came from the start, and won the club 13 points in the league with his goals.

Reds' net spend in the black after Benteke sale

Benteke pictured in the Palace colours for the first time. (Picture: Crystal Palace FC)
Benteke pictured in the Palace colours for the first time. (Picture: Crystal Palace FC)

With that in mind, Liverpool held out for a fair fee - having rejected Palace's first offering of £23 million plus £7 million in add-ons, which were deemed too unrealistic.

But 48 hours later, Palace returned with an improved bid and with Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings ahead of him - he was given permission to agree terms and undergo a medical at Selhurst Park.

Having not featured once in pre-season, despite returning at the same time as compatriots Origi and Simon Mignolet, and after being left out of the matchday squad for their opening Premier League clash with Arsenal - his move comes as little surprise.

Benteke becomes Palace's most expensive ever signing, joining £13 million Andros Townsend who boasted the tag after signing from Newcastle United earlier in the summer.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have only ever claimed higher fees for Luis Suarez (£75 million), Fernando Torres (£50 million) and Raheem Sterling (£49 million) - making it good business for a player who would have likely just warmed the bench on Merseyside this year.

Benteke becomes the eighth player to leave Liverpool on a permanent basis this summer and his departure means the club have made more on the sales of players than they have spent on new signings.

It remains to be seen whether any of the money will be reinvested, although Klopp is believed to view James Milner as the ideal competitor for Alberto Moreno at left-back.