Liverpool must take responsibility for Christian Benteke's failings

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After last week's open criticism from Christian Benteke towards his own club about the lack of game time he has had since arriving at Anfield, you wonder whether the Belgian will ever get his Liverpool career on track.

Football is very much a team sport and individual players can perform on a much higher or lower level, depending on the group of peers that surround them. You just need to recall Zlatan Ibrahimovic's time at Barcelona to see an example of a player being totally lost within the ethos of the club they find themselves at. Benteke is certainly starting to look like the odd one out for the Reds.

Parallels can be drawn between the two striker's times at their respective clubs. Zlatan also complained of a lack of communication from, manager at the time, Pep Guardiola, in tandem with Benteke's recent claims of being 'ignored' by Jurgen Klopp.


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The Swede only lasted one season at Barcelona, before be shipped out on loan to AC Milan, eventually turning into a permanent deal with the Rossoneri. At this rate, Benteke could be set for an equally short time at Anfield.

He is obviously a talented striker, already having scored over 20 goals in a Premier League season and tormented most of the league's defences during his time at Aston Villa, it is surprising he hasn't been able to make an impact at Merseyside. Or is it?

Who is to blame?

As much as the form of a player comes down to the person himself, the team must adapt and make changes in order to suit the newcomer's style of play, especially if the player demanded a fee in excess of £30 million.

Liverpool are beginning to make a habit of investing in strikers that simply do not suit their style of play. The Belgian arrived for a similar fee to Andy Carroll four years previously, and the fate of the Newcastle-born forward is extremely well documented.

Making 44 appearances for the club in all competitions, netting only 6 goals over that period, Carroll ended up at West Ham - where he has remained for the last three seasons. Mario Balotelli could also be brought under the same heading. Three strikers that prefer the ball to feet or in the air in the box for them to attack - contrary to Liverpool's counter-attacking, fast tempo, style of play.

Liverpool knew very well the player that they were inheriting, yet refused to change their game in order to suit the Belgian's attributes. Settling in to a new club, while, trying to change the way you play the game, is something very few players are capable of doing, and if the Anfield based outfit continue to employ manager's akin to Jurgen Klopp, there is no place for the former Aston Villa player in the team.

The situation the striker finds himself in, is, in due part, to the player, but more so to the poor transfer policy in place. Benteke was never going to suit Liverpool's style of play and maybe it is best for both parties if their mutual relationship comes to a rather premature end.

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Christian Benteke

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