Michael Owen was unimpressed by Christian Benteke's performance against Aston Villa.

Christian Benteke has 'so many gaps in his game' slams Michael Owen

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Michael Owen called on Christian Benteke to address the numerous gaps in his game after Liverpool's 3-0 win over League Two side Exeter.

Despite Liverpool's win - which sets up a fourth-round tie with West Ham - courtesy of goals from Joe Allen, Sheyi Ojo and Joao Teixeira, Benteke was again singled out after the final whistle for his sub-par performance.

The Belgian spurned a host of decent chances, including sending a header over the bar from six yards before managing to let the ball run out of play having rounded the 'keeper in stoppage time.


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Owen, himself an often criticised pundit for BT Sport, spoke out afterwards fearing that Benteke was suffering from a lack of confidence following an uncertain start to his Anfield career.

"No question about it he’s got a lot of quality but he’s got so many gaps in his game that need working on if he’s going to be a top-class player around these parts.

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"That last chance was just typical of what he’s going through at the moment, total lack of confidence.

"The team don’t play to his strengths in many ways and he should be scoring, at least, one or two goals in a game like this – he certainly had the chances."

Owen's fellow pundit and former Liverpool teammate Steve McMannaman was arguably even more critical of the Belgian striker.

"His movement in and around the danger area isn’t good enough. He was on the periphery today but he should be dominating players like this.

"He should be the star man by a million miles."

Was Sherwood right about Benteke?

Prior to Aston Villa's FA Cup final loss to Arsenal last season, then-manager Tim Sherwood publically advised Benteke that he would be foolish to choose a move to Anfield.

“There’s no point going to a club where they don’t cross the ball. All he’s got to do is look at history and see what has happened to players who have left other clubs."

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Though Benteke is actually quite adept with his feet, as well as his head and is undoubtedly a far more rounded player than former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, the club's passing style under Brendan Rodgers always seemed an unlikely fit for the Belgian, with his future looking even bleaker under Jurgen Klopp.

Despite Klopp's assurances this week that Benteke does have a future at Anfield, the striker will be growing increasingly concerned by both his time spent on the substitutes bench and the direction in which Liverpool are moving.

Roberto Firminio is being consistently trusted in a false nine role for Liverpool's biggest games and as a target man, Benteke simply does not seem to fit into Klopp's renowned gegenpressing style.

Do you think Christian Benteke will remain at Anfield in the long-term? Give us your opinion in the comment box below!

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League

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