Christian Benteke made the £32m move to Merseyside this past summer (via the Mirror), and has gotten off to a solid, though not exceptional, start to life at Anfield. The Mirror’s report claims he has been seeing a mind guru in order to help him adapt however, with Michel Bruyninckx revealing the Belgian star has been coming to him to talk.
Bruyninckx claims the 24-year-old has had issues throughout his career, and has struggled with being seen as nothing more than a physical player.
That may have been true at one point, but Benteke has come a long way in recent seasons. He was more often than not the standout performer for Aston Villa, and Brendan Rodgers clearly believes he has what it takes to lead the line at Liverpool.
Speaking to the Mirror, Bruyninckx is quoted as saying: “One day, he gave me a call and said, ‘Can I have some additional sessions.’
“When he was a boy in Belgium, he changed regularly from one club to another, because he only had one profile – as a physically strong player.
“I tried to encourage him then to expand his mind to see that he must not accept those labels and that he could continuously change his skills, and the way he learned to think has been enormously important to his career.
“I hear people say he is not a Liverpool type of player, but I tell you that he can adapt to any club.
“This challenge is not new for him. For many years, people tried to convince Christian he was only a physical player but, through his mental power, he has changed all that.
“When you watch him in the national team, you can see that, technically, he is skilled, he is creative, he is intelligent. I fully believe that, through Liverpool, he will go to a higher level again.”
Bruyninckx is a coach known for his brain training and mental work with players, as he looks to breed intelligent players who think faster than your average star.
As the Mirror’s report suggests, Bruyninckx is credited with the development of the current Belgian squad. Although Marc Wilmots’ side are yet to achieve much in the way of success, the quality of players he has at his disposal suggests they are capable of great things.
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Hopefully Bruyninckx’s methods continue to work for Benteke, and the powerful forward is able to settle in quickly at the club and find his best form.