Christian Benteke, Liverpool’s currently injured and out of favour forward, has issued some rallying comments in regards to his Anfield career.
The Belgian became our second most expensive ever signing last summer at £32.5m, but has not been able to adapt to Jurgen Klopp’s all-action style and has seen his stock and position in the striker’s pecking order drop.
As a result, the 25-year-old claimed while on international duty that he wouldn’t have signed for Liverpool if he knew he’d end up being a sub, and criticised Klopp for not giving him enough chances (via Sky Sports), but has seemingly retracted those comments now.
“Obviously it has not been the best season for me here,” Benteke told the Echo.
“I haven’t played like I want to and that is frustrating but this is part of football.
“I never lose my self-confidence. But when you are not playing regularly you maybe lose a little bit of the speed or pace of the game compared to when you are playing in the side all of the time.
“You are just not as comfortable as when you play every weekend. Your match fitness isn’t the same.
“There is no secret. When things aren’t going well you just have to work harder and trust yourself.
“Even though things have not been as I wanted I’m really happy here. Playing for this club is exciting, just like what I thought it would be. Now I want to finish this season well.”
It’s admirable that Benteke wants to compete for a Liverpool future, but on current evidence, you’d have to suggest he might be fighting a losing battle.
Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are currently competing for a starting berth, with Danny Ings set to eventually return and Roberto Firmino capable of filling in as a false-9.
Benteke’s struggles this term are not entirely his fault. He was signed on the back of his successes, skills and attributes at Aston Villa – but was then asked to do a completely new job at Liverpool. The club hierarchy needs to accept large criticism for allowing the former manager Brendan Rodgers to spend such a huge fee on a striker, before firing him eight weeks later.