Jurgen Klopp is desperate for Christian Benteke to start proving he’s a £32.5m striker, and has held lengthy discussions with the blockbuster summer signing during the past week, the Echo report.
He was left on the bench for the miserable Watford defeat, and many thought it was telling that Divock Origi came off it before our second most expensive ever player.
Benteke’s scored just one in eight, but Klopp is adamant the forward does have the ability to adapt to his style of football.
“Christian has trained well this week and we’ve had a good talk together,” Klopp began.
“We know what he has to do and he knows what he has to do.
“Everything is okay. He didn’t lose his place in the squad. Sometimes you start, sometimes you don’t. We have a lot of options so we have to make decisions.
“In the offensive line we have three options so we decided to make changes last week.
“Christian is completely clear. He knows. He’s not saying ‘let’s wait and see’. He is working and he’s trying to be better.
“Christian’s biggest strength is heading so everyone is waiting for crosses. But you have two high towers, centre-halves, in the box. You can’t always wait for that as that is only one situation in offence.
“We need to create more moments for all our offensive players. We need to push up from centre midfield more and get into the box to create more opportunities. We need more movements together.
“If we could train more often then Christian will see that it’s easy. ‘Go there, come here, go again’.
“We have dominance in a lot of situations with our full-backs pushing up. We just have to make better decisions around the box.
“For me and for Christian, it was a really good talk. Now we have made a few decisions and hopefully you will see the results of that.”
Benteke’s Liverpool successes have so far only come in glimpses. The 25-year-old scored truly world-class goals against Swindon in pre-season and Manchester United in the Premier League – but of course both really counted for nothing with the first a friendly and the second a consolation goal in a defeat.
Overall he’s scored five times in 16 appearances, and although six of those were from the bench, it’s not good enough.
The criticism of his work-rate and playing style is probably unfair, considering he’s never claimed to be anything other than a target-man who thrives from aerial delivery. Still, if he’s to make himself a Liverpool success, Benteke needs to change his ways.
Only time will tell if he’s up to it.