Christian Benteke won’t be able to stay at Liverpool if he has to sit on the bench for another season, the attacker told reporters while away on international duty with Belgium.
Benteke cost us £32.5m last summer, and despite scoring ten goals, the 25-year-old was only given 14 Premier League starts by Jurgen Klopp – who found it difficult to accommodate the powerhouse forward in his chosen tactical style.
The striker has suggested that while he understands Klopp’s decision and the fact he didn’t play well at times, he’ll have to look for a move away if the boss intimates he’ll be a sub again.
“At 25 years old, I’m neither old nor young but it’s important to play,” he told Sky Sports. “I still have a contract at Liverpool and I’d like to stay there, if I remain in the coach’s plans.
“If that’s not the case, it will become difficult to stay. I’ll think about if after the Euros.
“I was prepared for what I went through [last season]. I knew that if I had mixed performances I would be criticised. That’s what happened.
“When [Klopp] arrived I saw that I wasn’t in his plans. That was frustrating because I knew that during my first season at Aston Villa he wanted me. But we had several discussions together – I respect and I understand his decisions.”
We cannot blame Benteke entirely for his failings. He was bought as a result of his strengths by Brendan Rodgers, but then asked to adapt his game completely. What’s more, his team-mates didn’t to play to his strengths – rarely delivering first-time crosses or giving the forward a chance to spin a defender.
With this in mind however, it might be best for Benteke to leave while his price would still be fairly high. We won’t recoup the money spent on him entirely, but we could receive a large chunk of it and reinvest into more needy areas of the squad, such as central midfield, left-back and right-wing.
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