28 Oct 2015

Injury Shocker: Klopp loses 'unplayable' £140k-a-week Liverpool star, but the good news is it's not long-term

Over the summer, many fans (myself included) argued that Liverpool were taking a huge risk with the signing of Christian Benteke. The Belgian's injury history was a giant red flag, and with Daniel Sturridge's ongoing problems, the last thing the Reds needed was another injury prone striker. Well, Liverpool's recklessness in the transfer market is coming home to roost (again).

According to The Guardian:

"Christian Benteke [is] ruled out of Wednesday’s Cup tie against Bournemouth with a knee ligament strain [sustained against] Southampton.

"Benteke is not facing an extended spell out but is a major doubt for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea".

To clarify: I was in favour of Benteke's signing, but *not* for £32m. If the club is going to gamble on an increasingly injury-prone player, then the price has to be right, and £32m is a grossly inflated fee for a player with a poor recent injury history (and I made this point many times prior to the transfer)

Like Sturridge, Benteke - reportedly on a ridiculous £140k-a-week salary - is a quality striker, but what's the point if he's constantly injured? Recent injury history:

* Oct 2015: Knee

* Sep 2015: Thigh

* Apr 2015: Achilles tendon rupture

* Dec 2013: Knee

* Nov 2013: Knee

* Sep 2013: Groin

* 249 days out injured (Equivalent to 8 months out | 30 games missed)

* Out injured for 35% of the time out since 2013.

Last season, a major injury crisis derailed Dortmund's season, and Klopp consequently left his job and took a sabbatical to recover. Now, he's walked into the exact same situation at Liverpool, and I doubt he's relishing the prospect of another injury dogfight.

On the plus side, Divock Origi will get another chance to prove himself. The Belgian is getting plenty of opportunities to stake his claim, but if he continues to misfire, then he can have no complaints if he's discarded later on down the line.

There's also another option to consider: Klopp could give Jerome Sinclair a chance. Statistically, Origi is one of Liverpool's most ineffective players right now (offensively and defensively), and I doubt Sinclair will do much worse.

Reds fans better get used to a constant stream injuries. Klopp's intense 'heavy metal' football may be effective, but - as his time at Dortmund proved - it leads to endless injury problems, and Liverpool's squad is packed with players who just can't handle the intensity required to implement Klopp's 'Gegenpressing' vision.

As for Benteke: a few months ago, Steven Gerrard hailed the striker as 'unplayable', and at the moment, that's literally true (!)

Author: Jaimie K


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