Birmingham City has smashed its transfer record with the purchase of the Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez for an upfront payment of Â£6.2 million which could rise to the sum of Â£9 million if all stipulations in the contract are met.
The 23 year old is known in his homeland as â€œel chuchoâ€ (the mutt) and began his career with El Nacional where he scored 29 goals in 83 games earning himself a move in 2007 to Santos Lagum who play in Mexicoâ€™ s Primera Division.
In the 2 seasons el chucho spent in Mexico he bagged 31 goals in 58 games. He has built a reputation as one of the Divisionâ€™s most exciting forwards and at the end of last season he was the Player of the Year award.
Standing at 5ft 6 inches Benitez is not a player who will trouble defenders in the air but he is electric on the ground. He has been blessed with tremendous pace and is most dangerous when facing defenders with space to run into or with a defender tight on him where he can spin into the open space.
The most incredible thing about this player is his acceleration, he seems to have elastic for tendons and his ability to create one yard of space to get a shot in is incredible. Although he is the same height as Michael Owen his stockier build means he is better able to fend players off the ball which will be a useful attribute in the rough and tumble of the Premier League.
For his country he has netted 10 goals in 18 games.
The player has been unlucky with injuries and has suffered a dislocated shoulder and a leg break. Furthermore, his transfer was delayed due to concerns regarding his knee.
Benitez has signed a 3 year contract at the club, not that long considering his transfer fee. But as any pundit will tell you clubs promoted from the Championship generally struggle to get goals in the Premier League. Service is harder to come by and the marking is better.
El chucho is a player who does not require service from the wings, all he needs is an early ball played to his feet or behind a defender to become a threat. This could be a great buy for Birmingham City as he can be used to alleviate pressure as well as having the ability to create something out of nothing. He could turn out to be an inspired purchase by Alex McLeish.
Video evidence of Christian Benitez can be seen here.