Belgian striker Christian Benteke has endured a difficult career at Liverpool so far after his £32.5million summer move from Aston Villa, labelled a big money flop by many Reds fans and seemingly out-of-favour with boss Jurgen Klopp.
At Villa he was highly-prolific and a star player. However, there is now constant speculation that the striker could be on the move this summer once again.
Never fit into Jurgen Klopp’s style of play
Benteke will never fit onto Jurgen Klopp’s style of play. In fact there were doubts that he would fit into former-boss Brendan Rodgers style of play before his departure, so he never seemed to fit Liverpool’s style at any point in his Reds career.
He is a good player and nobody can dispute that. The Belgian international is big, strong and good with his head, all attributes that have made him prolific in the English top-flight in a usually poor Villa team.
The logic is if he could score goals in a team of poor quality like Villa imagine what he could do in a team with a higher standard of player. The likes of Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho seemed like perfect suppliers of goals.
It seems he is out of favour with Klopp and on international he told Sport/Voetbalmagazine: “Some team-mates have said I was lucky with the arrival of Klopp, because I certainly would play,”
“When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you it is hard to understand.”
He is a target man not a nippy forward
Klopp has preferred Benteke’s compatriot Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge to the former-Villa striker, which must frustrate Benteke. The fact that his attributes are not suited to Klopp’s high-pressing, high-intensity game means he has not played as much as he would have liked to this season.
Benteke has started just 12 Premier League games this season and came off the bench on 13 occasions in the top-flight. The Belgian’s return of seven goals in the top-flight is not exactly that of a player who cost such a big fee, but it is also understandable considering his lack of action
He will never be a forward who chases and harries defenders, no matter how much Klopp attempts to get the forward to work the way he needs him to.
At Villa when they played to Benteke’s strengths he was prolific in front of goal, with just under a goal every other game ratio for the Villans. When a team plays to his strengths then he is successful. Liverpool’s style of play under Klopp is never going to suit Benteke.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is never going to adapt his style of play to suit one player and Benteke just simply does not fit in at Anfield.
One solution will suit everybody
It seems that Benteke’s Liverpool career will be a very short one. The striker leaving this summer seems to be his best option for everybody involved. There has been speculation about a move to West Ham, but whether he would fit their style of play any better than Liverpool’s remains to be seen.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic comes across as a demanding boss, but not as demanding as the intense Klopp. With the likes of Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho for competition at West Ham he would not be guaranteed first team football.
Christian Benteke should not be written-off just because he has struggled at Liverpool. The Belgian international is a top striker, who will cause most Premier League defence problems on his day, but his team has play to his strengths and Liverpool will never do that.
Benteke is not a flop, as some has described him. He is just at the wrong club and in the wrong team. If he gets a summer move and his new team plays to his strengths then he will no doubt be prolific once again.
Which team would suit Christian Benteke’s style of play?