According to Eris Kismet, the Belgian’s agent, there is in fact “'nothing in these' [transfer] reports,” instead insisting to Sky Sports that Benteke “wants to [stay and] fight for his place," in Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the upcoming season.
This all of course after months of his complaints of being “ignored” in the team selection under the German manager, with the striker going as far to threaten a move away if his playing time didn’t increase. Credible sources even had the Belgian already agreeing to personal terms with Crystal Palace, while negotiations between the clubs for a rumored £30 million were all but done.
Although an excellent striker in the right system, Benteke struggled to make an impact after his big money move from Aston Villa at the end of last season. Suited to a more direct style of play, Klopp’s frenetic gegenpressing, and even the possession-oriented, high-energy pressing of his predecessor Brendan Rodgers, were poor fits, dooming this ill-advised transfer before it even began.
Furthermore, after barely getting a look in for Belgium at the European Championship and coupled with the scoring return over the weekend of the significantly more Klopp-ian, Danny Ings, it’s hard to see how the big target man envisions a future for himself at Anfield.
If his agent is to believed--and I think we are all of the opinion that they should generally not be--the striker is in danger of scuppering one of those rare win-win-win situations people are always talking about: Palace would be receiving a class talent, Liverpool would re-coup virtually all of their initial £32.5 million outlay and the player himself would join one of the cross-iest teams in the league, surely the stuff of his most lurid dreams.
Let’s hope this is just some agent ploy to get... something out of someone. The ulterior motive actually isn’t too apparent. Either way, with a bloated squad suddenly chock-full of more suitable striking options, the £120,000-a-week relief the transfer would represent could certainly be of use.
Make the right call, Christian; who knows when we’ll next have a chance at a triple win?