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Liverpool

Benteke a £32.5m Anfield flop but claims he could still do a job for Liverpool

4:50 PM MYT 30/09/2019
HD Roberto Firmino Christian Benteke Liverpool
The Belgian struggled to make the impact expected of him on Merseyside, but retains full faith in his ability and is not looking for a move at Palace

Christian Benteke proved to be a £32.5 million ($40m) flop at Liverpool, but the Belgian striker claims he could still do a job for the Reds.

The burly frontman was taken to Anfield in 2015 after impressing in the Premier League across three seasons with Aston Villa.

His power and finishing ability delivered 49 goals in 101 appearances for the Villans, but he would manage only 10 in 42 outings for Liverpool, with a forgettable spell on Merseyside lasting just one full campaign.

Benteke was offloaded by Jurgen Klopp to Crystal Palace, but the 28-year-old maintains that he could have thrived in the German’s system.

Quizzed on whether he could have been a success in that side, the Eagles frontman told SPORTbible: “Yeah. It's easy to say now because I play for Palace and they play for Liverpool, but when you train every day with the same players and the manager believes in you, it's easier.”

Benteke, who was moved on as Klopp put his faith in Roberto Firmino, added: “People will say I'm making excuses, but everyone knows the club was going through a transition when I was there.

“If you compare the team from when I was there to the current team, I think there are only three, four players still in the first 11, most of them are new.”

He went on to say: “I started well, but he [Brendan Rodgers] was already under pressure from the previous season because they almost won the league and then Klopp came and everything changed.

“When he came to Liverpool he said: ‘Sorry, I want to play different football I want to have a quick, small, sharp player’.

“I tried to fight for my spot, but at the end of the season he said: ‘It's best if you find a new situation too, I won't hold you up’.”

Things started positively enough for Benteke at Palace, as he netted 17 times across all competitions in his debut campaign.

The goals have, however, dried up as just one was recorded last season and he is still waiting to open his account for 2019-20.

“Let me tell you, it's been the hardest time in my career so far,” he said.

“But I haven't lost my confidence. It's more frustration because the thing that I was doing before - scoring goals - I can still do it.”

Benteke is not looking for a way out of Selhurst Park either, despite a place in Belgium’s plans for Euro 2020 being under serious threat.

Quizzed on whether he could push for a move in January, a man with 34 caps to his name said: “No. It's too soon to talk about this.

“I don't feel that I finished my job. I can do well here. We've only played six games, there's another 32 to play. A lot of things can happen, that's the beauty of this game.”