Benteke hits back at Sherwood & Keane criticism: I can adapt at Liverpool

The Aston Villa boss said the striker would not perform well "where they don't cross the ball" while the club's former assistant claimed a lack of commitment at training
Christian Benteke has dismissed criticism of his ability from two former coaches as he prepares to make his Premier League debut for Liverpool.

Benteke scored his first goal for the Reds on Sunday with a stunning volley in a 2-1 friendly win over Swindon Town, and the striker is confident he "can produce the goals" in the club's Champions League bid.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood declared in May that Benteke should not go to a club "where they don't cross the ball" but the £32.5 million signing rejected the notion he is one-dimensional.

"I don't believe that what he said is true and I told him that," Benteke told the Liverpool Echo. "I spoke with him and I explained the situation. I said football has changed and is now more modern and I can adapt.

"It is not just about crossing, I can score normal goals too. I told him I am not afraid about it. If Liverpool bought me then they know how to use me. That's why I came here - I'll show I can play with my feet too."

Benteke scored at a ratio of a goal-per-game for his last 11 Premier League matches with Villa as he helped the outfit avoid relegation following Sherwood's appointment.

The 24-year-old left Villa Park with 42 league goals in 89 games but former Villa assistant coach Roy Keane has previously claimed Benteke will not make it at the top level due to a lack of commitment at training.

"He can say what he wants," Benteke responded. "I don't want to be arrogant but since I came to England I've proved I wasn't a bad player."

Benteke added that he understands there will be a different type of pressure with Liverpool compared to Villa - "here it's the pressure to be at the top" - but remains confident he can thrive.

"Of course I want to get into the Champions League. I can help Liverpool do that," he said.

Liverpool will open their Premier League campaign against Stoke City on Sunday.