Former Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman commented on BT Sport's Fletch and Sav show that Liverpool striker Christian Benteke isn’t performing well enough to start games.
The Belgium international started Liverpool’s 5-4 win over Norwich City on the bench, despite the Canaries conceding the most amount of goals from crosses in the Premier League thus far.
Asked whether Jurgen Klopp had made a hiccup in his team selection ahead of the encounter, McManaman felt irrespective of Norwich’s vulnerability, Benteke hadn’t done enough to earn a start.
“He’s not playing well enough to be in the starting eleven, regardless of whether Norwich have let in lots of goals from crosses,” the former midfielder explained.
“He needs to be playing well and scoring. His audition was against Exeter the other day and he didn’t produce.”
Benteke arrived at Liverpool from Aston Villa in the summer boasting a pretty decent record in the Premier League, including a run of 12 goals in 13 games for Villa at the back-end of last season.
However, the striker’s bread and butter is crosses from out wide yet the Reds focus most of their attacks through the middle, causing an immediate dilemma in regards to getting the best out of him.
Jurgen Klopp has tried various systems and strategies to help Benteke, yet the team arguably plays its best when the former Villa man is left out completely and opt for a more mobile centre-forward.
Roberto Firmino started as the lone forward at Carrow Road, and he netted a brace while fellow midfielders Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Adam Lallana completed the scoring.
Benteke, 25, has managed just six goals from 20 Premier League appearances this season – a record which doesn’t inspire confidence especially considering his hefty transfer fee.