12 Mar 2017

Anfield Stunner: Klopp confirms fantastic' £32m attacker 'wanted' a transfer and 'could've helped Liverpool'. Loss?

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has claimed that he was basically forced to sell one of the club's most expensive players.

Ex-Red Christian Benteke left Anfield last summer after just one season at Anfield, and the prevailing view is that Klopp wanted him out because he didn't fit into his fabled 'heavy metal football' style of football.

Well, Klopp himself has now debunked that rumour. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Klopp dismissed suggestions that players had to be sold last summer to achieve a 'positive transfer' record, and further insisted:

"We didn't sell Christian Benteke because we needed the money. He wanted it. Benteke at his best is a player who could have helped us, for sure".

I repeatedly highlighted Klopp's shabby treatment of Benteke last season, and it's absolutely no surprise that the Belgian wanted out of Anfield after just one season. As he said in September:

"I didn't have the chances to perform. I wanted to do more, but I learned that's football".

* Substitute, subbed off, or an unused sub in 75% of games under Klopp.

* Jan 2-May 15: Handed just 360 minutes of game time in the Prem (Averaging just 25 minutes per game).

* Zero confidence/encouragement from Klopp, who publicly criticised Benteke, and made it clear he had little faith in the Belgian.

Quite how a striker is supposed to thrive under these conditions is anyone's guess, and it's supremely ironic that Klopp now claims that Benteke could've been a major help for Liverpool this season (!)

As a comparison: Roberto Firmino averaged a goal/assist every 151 minutes (worse than Benteke), but he got regular game time, and benefited from having the confidence of the manager.

If Benteke^ performed better than Firmino in a demotivated, marginalised state, just imagine what he could've done if he'd been motivated, encouraged, and granted regular game time.

* Cost Crystal Palace £32m. Described by Alan Pardew as 'fantastic'


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