Christian Benteke may find himself out of favour at Liverpool following the arrival of new manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Belgian signed from Aston Villa in the summer for £32.5 million and has been struggling with injury recently. However, he started his Anfield career fairly well with a goal against Bournemouth on his home debut before a stunning overhead kick at Old Trafford last month.
But the return of Daniel Sturridge could see Benteke on the periphery, especially if Klopp keeps his playing style.
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The 48-year-old manager has a style of play that he very rarely strays from, the opposite to former manager Brendan Rodgers and his tendency to chop and change his tactics.
Klopp almost always fields a 4-2-3-1 formation which already rings alarm bells for Benteke. With Sturridge returning, buoyed by his brace against Aston Villa last month, he faces stiff competition for the lone striker role.
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You may think that Benteke might be better suited than Sturridge playing as a lone striker due to his ability as a target man. But this is where Klopp’s style of play comes into it. The German is a big fan of ‘Gegenpressing’ or, counter-pressing, which means he wants his attacking players to attempt to win the ball back the moment they lose it.
This requires a huge amount of work-rate for the attacking players, something that might not necessarily suit Benteke. Whilst he’s not lazy, the striker doesn’t possess the energy levels to close down defenders for 90 minutes.
He is far more effective saving his energy for when he has possession so he can bring other players into play.
Also, Benteke thrives on crosses with his aerial ability being his biggest asset. However, Klopp likes the three players behind the striker to play narrow, occupying the spaces between the opponents midfield and defence. This would mean that Liverpool would be relying on their full-backs to provide the crosses.
Liverpool fans will be hoping Benteke can fit into Klopp’s system or else it will be yet another expensive mistake.
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