Despite scoring the winning goal in back to back games, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool have a Christian Benteke problem. It just so happens he's the goal scorer the club desperately need right now—or at least the only one they’ve got.
Yet that doesn’t change the fact that the big Belgian seems terribly suited for how the rest of the Liverpool side want to play, and it doesn’t change that he seems terribly suited to how the manager wants them to play. If the goals continue to come then, perhaps, it will be enough. But it clearly isn’t an ideal situation.
"It’s not just his problem, it’s Liverpool’s problem," said Carragher when asked about Klopp's struggle to effectively integrate Benteke into the attack, a struggle that so far has mostly not gone well. "You’ve got three number tens in the team and a powerful centre forward, and you’ve got to get the ball into his feet.
"We were watching Jürgen in the first half, though, and he was so frustrated with Benteke’s runs, with his movement and the positions he was taking. A lot of the time he was taking up the wrong positions. When Klopp came in, Origi started at Spurs and we highlighted the work he put in. That’s what Klopp wants."
It’s a problem that had many wary when Benteke arrived over the summer from Aston Villa for £32.5M. Yes, the striker had talent. And he would score his share of goals. But would he fit with what the rest of Liverpool’s players would want to do? Would, outside of his own goals, he make Liverpool’s attack better, or worse?
"He gives Klopp a problem because he’s the only goalscorer they’ve got," added Carragher. "But he said when he got the winning goal against Leicester that when a player like Benteke scores, that’s just the one action in 90 minutes. So what does he do for the other 89? He wants more from him, more movement."
It was much the same against Sunderland. Benteke had his goal—and really should have had a second to seal the game late—but for much of the match, his lack of movement and pressing and his generally poor link-up play was a problem for Liverpool. For two or three minutes he made them better. For the rest, worse.
It’s a problem, and it’s one that does not appear to have an easy solution. With no other fit senior strikers on the books, though, Jürgen Klopp will have at least a few more weeks to try and sort out some kind of a solution. Hopefully he can figure one out.