Despite being used only sparingly by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, Christian Benteke reportedly turned down a move to China in the January transfer window to fight for his future at Anfield.
Many Liverpool fans met news of the Reds’ £32.5 million capture of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa with much trepidation, and it appears that their worst fears have been confirmed. Whether or not Brendan Rodgers had plans for the Belgian, there has been no evidence thus far to suggest that he fits into Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Liverpool.
The German has largely favoured Brazilian Roberto Firmino up front, and with Daniel Sturridge making his return from injury, Benteke’s chances of making an impact will be even more limited. However, reports in the British media suggest that the Belgium international is determined to fight for his place at Anfield.
According to a report in the Daily Express, Benteke turned down a move to the Chinese Super League in the January transfer window. This report was later corroborated by the reliable London-based Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur.
Christian Benteke has effectively rejected Chinese offers in the January transfer window. The striker wanted to fight for his spot. #LFC
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) March 1, 2016
Benteke is contracted to the Merseyside club till 2020, and is one of the highest-paid players at Anfield, earning a reported £140,000 per week. As such, moving him on will not be an easy task for Klopp.
Benteke does not suit Klopp’s system
Although Christian Benteke does have his strengths, his skill-set simply does not seem to align with Klopp’s style of play. He is not the type of hard-working, mobile forward that will harry opposition defenders on the ball, or indeed the type to run in behind and capitalise during quick attacking transitions.
The Belgian has not played a single minute since coming off the bench in the 6-0 thrashing of his former club Aston Villa in the middle of February. With Sturridge back in the fold, it seems even more unlikely that he will get the game time he desires at Liverpool. The best move for all parties involved could well be a long-term loan to a European club, before a permanent transfer is agreed upon by the player.