He is fast becoming the forgotten man, only getting cameo appearances now.
The end is nigh for Christian Benteke at Liverpool, and he knows it. He isn’t Jurgen Klopp’s ideal striker and he wasn’t brought in by him either. On the results this season, Benteke will be at a different club next year.
West Ham, among others, have expressed an interest, but it appears that Hammers fans have recoiled in horror at the thought of the Belgian playing in the claret and blue.
Less than one per cent of the 1,700 plus who voted in a recent ClaretandHugh poll wanted Benteke as one of the club’s summer signings. We wonder what other fans are saying…
Benteke has admitted he finds it difficult to understand why manager Jurgen Klopp ‘ignores’ him.
The Belgium international, who has scored just eight goals in 36 appearances, has become frustrated with his bit-part role at Anfield. After signing for a fee of £32.5million last summer, he has made just five starts in 16 games since the end of December, with Klopp preferring fit-again Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi up front.
Noticeably, at the end of the defeat at Southampton recently, Klopp was seen in animated discussions on the pitch with the forward after he missed a number of chances in the 3-2 loss. Clearly not ignoring him.
The speculation concerning his departure from Anfield is on a roll at a time in the season when anyone and everyone is linked with moving somewhere. If Benteke wants to stay at Liverpool, then he needs to show it now, but maybe the damage is done and Klopp has already decided on the forwards future.
“Some team-mates have said that I was lucky with the arrival of Klopp, because I certainly would play,” he said recently.
“When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you it is hard to understand.”
Perhaps it is because Benteke just doesn’t fit into Klopp’s tactical plans or maybe it’s because he can’t score – which is probably more likely. On the back of accusations that he doesn’t play the way Klopp wants Liverpool to function, he said: “I find it bizarre, I do not understand why people say that. I can play pressing and moving a lot. It is not that we play in the Barcelona style. In January I didn’t want to leave and it’s still my desire to succeed.”
Benteke isn’t exactly alone when it comes to underachieving at Anfield, but while the arrows are being slung his way, the others go undetected a while longer. As third, maybe fourth choice striker, Benteke needs to work, run, press and score, because from the comments from the fans on Twitter, his inability to do any of those things means that whilst he may want to stay in the red shirt, the general feeling mirrors Klopp’s thinking.
Liverpool bought Benteke for one quality, and that was when he was scoring of all sorts of goals. Any other qualities that he thinks he may have seem to have packed their bags and left ahead of the dozy striker.
It clearly isn’t working for the Belgian and at the moment. Benteke looks a lonely, out-of-sorts, peripheral player, and seems to be the only one who is bemused at his situation.
Two years from now, Liverpool fans will be saying – Benteke who?