Christian Benteke has admitted that his hefty transfer fee has weighed heavily on him during his first season at Liverpool.
The Belgian became our second most expensive signing when the Reds paid Aston Villa £32.5m for his services last summer, as the Daily Star reports.
He has failed to live up to expectations, scoring just eight goals, and has been demoted to a serial substitute under Jurgen Klopp.
But there is hope that the last-ditch penalty that he won and converted in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace could kickstart his Liverpool career.
And the 25-year-old seems to be ready to roll up his sleeves and embrace the challenge as he arguably fights for his Anfield future.
“It’s not the season that I was expecting, but it’s football, and you have some good times and some bad times and you have to deal with them,” Benteke told the Daily Star.
“My price fee makes it hard, because I know everything that I’m going to do people are going to talk about the money.
“It’s not that easiest of situations, but you have to be ready. It’s in the most difficult situations that the real warriors, the tough men and determined guys stand-up.
“In a career you’ll never top certain moments, also you’ll have your difficult times. You have to be up for it. I have to take every chance, every minute the manager gives me. One minute, five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour.
“Of course, it frustrates me, but that’s football too. I think, today, there were eight international players out of 11. So I’m not competing against ‘n’importe qui’, nobodies. I just have to accept the competition.”
Although it is easy to see how a transfer fee of Benteke’s magnitude brings with it pressure, it is difficult to have much sympathy with the striker.
Pressure does not stop one from running around and putting in the effort – and that is what has often been lacking from the big-money buy.
Until that changes, and, if it does, then there is a good chance that more games and goals will follow, this is little more than an excuse from Benteke.
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