2 Mar 2016

Transfer Fail: 'Incredible' £140k-week Liverpool star rejected January mega-offer to quit Anfield

Since taking over in October, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has abjectly failed to get the best out of £32m summer signing Christian Benteke, a player who - prior to his transfer - contributed 63 goals/assists in 101 games for a constantly relegation-threatened Aston Villa team. Benteke has started just one Premier League game this year, and new reports this week claim that the Big Belgian had the opportunity to leave Anfield in January.

According to the Daily Mail:

"He [Benteke] turned down opportunities to leave in January, including a lucrative offer from the Chinese Super League".

In my view, Benteke - described by Brendan Rodgers earlier this season as 'incredible' - should've jumped ship in January (but obviously not for China). In my view, Klopp has totally shattered his confidence, and that is evident from his lack of confidence on the field. Like Rodgers with Balotelli, Klopp is not getting the best out of Benteke, and when it comes to the crunch, the buck stops with the manager:

* If Benteke^ is in the starting line-up, then the team has to play to his strengths, and that hasn't happened this season. There's rarely any genuine width in the team; crossing is lamentable (18% accuracy this season), and the overall level of service from Lallana, Milner, Coutinho, Can, Ibe, Firmino etc is laughably poor.

* In any event, lumping crosses into the box is not the way to go. Examining Benteke's goals for Villa and Liverpool, it's clear that he thrives on balls into feet in and around the 18-yard box.

* Benteke may not press like a madman, but not every player in the team needs to do that. There are countless examples of top strikers who don't/didn't engage in the high press (Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie, Berbatov, Ibrahimovic, Sturridge etc). Lambert and Sherwood - supposedly inferior managers to Klopp - got the best out of him, so why can't Klopp do the same?

Despite the false narrative that Benteke 'doesn't fit in at LFC', and irrespective of his injuries, and marginalisation/misuse by Klopp, his stats this season are still creditable:

* 12 goals/assists in 31 apps (One every 158 minutes, from an average playing time of just 61 minutes per game)

* Contributed to 20% of LFC's total goals this season (i.e. one in 5 goals).

If Benteke can contribute to 20% of Liverpool's overall goals when his confidence is low, imagine what he could do under a manager who utilised him correctly and demonstrated faith in his ability.

If Klopp can get 20-30% extra out of Benteke it will make all the difference, but right now, he is wasting one of Liverpool's most expensive playing assets.

On a related note: I will post an article later today that shows the utter hypocrisy over Benteke and Sturridge. Watch this space.

survey services

^ Reportedly on £140k-a-week

Author: Jaimie K


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