Michael Owen: What Christian Benteke must do to become Liverpool success
Michael Owen says Liverpool striker Christian Benteke must improve his all-round game to become Reds success
Michael Owen says Christian Benteke must improve his all-round game to become a success story at Liverpool.
The Belgium international captained the Reds for the first time on Friday night but the towering striker failed to score in a 2-2 draw with Exeter City in the third round of the FA Cup.
I think he’s a great player but I don’t think he’s a great player in this Liverpool team
Benteke missed a flurry of chances in the Merseyside outfit’s 2-0 loss to West Ham United at Upton Park in their most-recent Premier League game earlier this month.
The former Aston Villa striker, who moved to Anfield in a £32.5m deal in the summer, scored the winner in Liverpool’s successive 1-0 victories over Leicester City and Sunderland before their setback at West Ham.
And Owen, who played for Liverpool between 1996 and 2004, insists Benteke must adapt to Liverpool as opposed to Klopp’s side adjusting to the Belgian striker.
“I questioned it (his signing) at the start and I still question it now,” Owen told Liverpool Echo.
“I think he’s a great player but I don’t think he’s a great player in this Liverpool team.
“Unless Liverpool change their way, but then you have to ask yourself if he’s good enough for the team to change their whole way of playing? The answer is probably no.
“You have to be a Suarez to have a team built around you.
“So right now it’s for Benteke to improve his all-round game, rather than for Liverpool to change their way of playing to suit him.
“I really like Benteke as player but I really don’t think he complements the team. They don’t cross the ball like he likes or get the ball direct enough for him to build his best form.”
The 24-year-old has only started four Premier League games since Jurgen Klopp took over the reins at Anfield from Brendan Rodgers in October.