David James backs struggling Liverpool duo Benteke and Mignolet

Simon Mignolet

The duo have come in for stern criticism from the Reds fans this season.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James has backed struggling Liverpool duo Christian Benteke and Simon Mignolet via TalkSport.

Goalkeeper Mignolet has once again come in for stern criticism this season, with a series of high profile mistakes having cost his side points once again.

The latest of those was in the recent 2-2 draw with Sunderland, as he failed to keep out an Adam Johnson free kick with his side 2-0 up at the time.

That goal gave the Black Cats the momentum to grab a late leveller and secure an unlikely point, with Mignolet getting the blame for the dropped two points. James though, says the criticism aimed at him is unfounded.

“I think it [the criticism] is unfounded,” he told Talksport.

“You could argue having been three years at Liverpool he should be the finished article but there is still so much more that can come out of Simon Mignolet and therefore the five-year contract he got is justified.”

Benteke meanwhile has so far failed to settle and prove himself as the first choice centre forward at Anfield this season.

He has managed just six goals in the Premier League this season, a scant return given how much money former manager Brendan Rodgers paid to secure him from Aston Villa in the summer, with BBC Sport reporting the fee was £32.5m back in July.

However, James says that he could see signs of improvement from the Belgian in recent weeks, and believes he will continue that under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance.

“I have been impressed with him over the last couple of cup matches,” he told Talksport.

“His footwork at times [against West Ham] was exceptional. That is not something I associate too often with Benteke – his aerial prowess everyone is aware of.”

“But I see improvement. Jurgen Klopp has this ideology of improving players and I see improvement in Benteke.”

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch