It is painstakingly obvious that Jurgen Klopp doesn’t rate Christian Benteke. Admittedly, the Belgian striker has hardly given him any reason to. Most of Benteke’s appearances have resulted from him entering the field of play off the substitutes’ bench. Indeed, he has only started five of the last 16 games. When he does get on the pitch, it would be logical for him to make the best of the opportunity and prove to his manager that he deserves to be in the starting line-up, however this desire appears to be frequently absent.
To pay £32.5 million for a striker from Aston Villa shows how desperate Liverpool were at the time, but he was playing brilliantly; in spells at least, during his three seasons at Villa. In his first campaign at Villa Park, he scored 19 goals and got four assists in 34 appearances. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable for Liverpool to expect a decent return on their money. Of course, it’s not Benteke’s fault that this price tag was imposed upon him, but eight goals in 35 appearances certainly isn’t going to shake it off. To make things worse, only one of those goals has come in 2016.
I have seen several Liverpool games where Benteke has been in a one-on-one situation and has not converted the chance to score for the Reds. The most recent example of this was the 3-2 defeat to Southampton. Liverpool were 2-1 up and Benteke had a chance to make it 3-1 after a superb pass from Adam Lallana, but his shot was inches wide. That goal would definitely have been the difference between Liverpool winning and losing this match. Benteke has squandered too many chances like that this season.
Daniel Sturridge; who has yet again spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch, although seems to be holding up well to the stresses of consistent first-team action now, and Divock Origi, have been preferred by Klopp. As long as both of them stay fit, that shows no signs of changing. When he was at Villa, Benteke made seven substitute appearances over three seasons. In only one season at Liverpool, he has made 13 in the same manner.
The former Villain needs to transform himself into a hero in the next few months, otherwise he could find himself further down the pecking order when Klopp bring his own players in during the summer.