5 May 2016

Redknapp insists: Klopp must give 'terrific' £20m Liverpool star 'more chances'. Start tonight?

After being ignored by Jurgen Klopp much of 2016, Christian Benteke's Liverpool fate appears to be sealed, and it'll come as no surprise if the Belgian ends up on the Anfield scrapheap this summer. Over the weekend, Benteke got back on the scoresheet with a consolation goal against Swansea, and ex-Red Jamie Redknapp has now urged Jurgen Klopp to utilise the Belgian striker more often.

In his column this week for the Liverpool Echo, Redknapp insisted that Klopp needs to 'give Benteke a chance', and noted:

"Benteke has scored a goal every 165.4 minutes [in the league] this season. That’s the 11th-fastest rate of any striker in the league. Maybe he deserves a few more chances to be the main man".

A goal every 165 minutes (one every 1.8 games) may not sound that great, but with assists included, Benteke has scored or created a goal every 132 minutes, and that's despite:

* Two separate injuries this season (13 games missed)

* The upheaval of managerial change just 8 games into his Liverpool career.

* Being a sub, subbed off, or an unused sub in 73% of games.

* Just ONE league start since January 2nd.

* 183 minutes of game time (Prem) since January 2nd (Averaging just 18 minutes per game).

* Zero confidence from Klopp, who has made it clear (via his marginalising approach) that he has little faith in Benteke.

Quite how a striker is supposed to thrive under these conditions is anyone's guess, but Benteke - reportedly the subject of a £20m bid from Juventus - has still made a decent contribution despite (arguably) being set-up to fail by Klopp.

As a comparison: Firmino averages a league goal every 207 minutes (worse than Benteke), and for goals/assists combined, it's one every 109 minutes. Unlike Benteke, however, Firmino gets regular game time, and benefits from the confidence of the manager.

If Benteke^ can score/create a goal every 132 minutes in a demotivated, marginalised state, just imagine what he can do if he's motivated, encouraged, and given regular game time...

^ Described by Steven Gerrard as a 'terrific talent'.

Author: Jaimie K



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