Belgian powerhouse Christian Benteke has been backed directly by his manager Jurgen Klopp.
Many Liverpool fans have questioned whether the striker suits Klopp’s all-action style of football. The German wants all his players to work tirelessly on and off the ball, and the accusation is that Benteke’s perhaps a little static.
The 24-year-old traditionally thrives from crosses or direct service, but Liverpool’s best performances this season have been when we’ve played quick one-twos around the box instead – such as at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad.
Benteke’s scored five goals since arriving, a solid start – but bearing in mind he cost us £32.5m – supporters are concerned that the most he could be under Klopp is an impact forward.
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The new boss doesn’t agree, luckily.
“Of course Christian Benteke didn’t do so well, but I’d say like a few players who were not in their best shape on this day at Newcastle,” Klopp said, after being asked about his striker options on countless occasions during his pre-FC Sion press conference.
“It was not a problem of Christian Benteke, it was a problem of our game in common.
“Yes, of course, I think he can press. The number nine doesn’t have to defend the whole pitch, it is to close spaces.
“It is not a question of Christian Benteke, he has done very good for us.
“It is okay – it is not a problem. Just on Sunday it was.”
Benteke’s travelled to Switzerland with Divock Origi, and either or both could lead the line against FC Sion in the Europa League this evening.
With Daniel Sturridge picking up another injury, it’s imperative that one or both show that they can suitably replace the Englishman. It’s good to see Benteke receiving Klopp’s backing, but now it’s time for the forward to pay his manager back with a strong performance.