Phil Thompson: How Liverpool can utilise Christian Benteke better
Phil Thompson says Liverpool must provide their summer signing with more crosses
Liverpool must provide Christian Benteke with more crosses into the penalty area, according to Phil Thompson.
The Belgium international couldn’t score his fifth Premier League goal of the season in Liverpool’s 1-0m victory over Swansea City at Anfield on Sunday evening.
I could have counted the amount of attempts on one hand and the build-up play was just too slow, which seems to be the case when Philippe Coutinho is out
Benteke is already facing questions about his long-term future at the Merseyside outfit following the appointment of former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp.
However, Thompson, who lifted the European Cup with the Reds in 1981, believes Liverpool need to play Benteke’s strengths to see a return from the £32.5m striker.
“At Anfield and in games which Liverpool are dominating they need to be able to utilise Christian Benteke’s presence. It’s something that they will hopefully be working on at the training ground,” Thompson told Sky Sports.
“They could have got a lot more crosses in to Benteke from dangerous areas on Sunday. When they had the ball five to 10 yards outside the box there wasn’t enough willingness to put the ball in there.
“I could have counted the amount of attempts on one hand and the build-up play was just too slow, which seems to be the case when Philippe Coutinho is out.
“Certainly on a windy night, as it was on Sunday, more crosses would have caused havoc in the penalty box.
“You could see from the way that Ashley Williams was holding onto Benteke, when they did throw one into the box, that Swansea were scared of that threat.
“A lot can be learned from the way Southampton do it as they play really good football and still get the best out of their big man Graziano Pelle.”
Benteke scored his first Liverpool goal in 1-0 victory over Bournemouth in the second game of the Premier League season in August.
The 24-year-old striker has also scored against Manchester United, Southampton and defending champions Chelsea this term.
The towering Belgian netted the winner in Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Bordeaux in the Europa League last week.
Benteke became Liverpool’s second most-expensive signing following his move to Anfield from Aston Villa.