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Carragher Sees No Room for Benteke in Liverpool’s Best Eleven

Jamie Carragher believes that Danny Ings makes Liverpool a better side—and that he doesn't see how Christian Benteke gets in the starting lineup when everybody's fit.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Danny Ings is already having his name sung on the Kop, and given he's been one of the few bright spots in another difficult start to a season for Liverpool, that's hardly surprising. With Daniel Sturridge back fit, though, it does lead to a potential selection headache for the manager, one that has ex-Red Jamie Carragher asking just where £32.5M signing Christian Benteke fits in.

Benteke is an unquestionable talent, imposing physically and technically sound. Yet it's clear Liverpool have looked a better side with Ings in the lineup, and that his non-stop running and ability to read and target space to discomfort the opposition defence has been key to Liverpool creating more chances in recent weeks. Benteke may be the better player, but at the moment, Ings appears to make Liverpool the better side.

"There are great signs of a partnership between Sturridge and Ings," said Carragher. "After Danny Ings came on against Norwich in the second half last week, the performance was much better and Liverpool created chances. Sturridge's finishing deserves accolades, but a lot of it is coming from Danny Ings pressing people, running in behind, and making the game quicker. That's where the chances are coming from."

Having too many quality options is hardly the worst problem for a manager to have—certainly it's better than the alternative—but some will be quick to point to concerns about Benteke's fit when the club decided to go ahead and trigger his exorbitant release clause over the summer. For all his talent, Benteke doesn't match the template of the sort of player Brendan Rodgers has found success with before.

Still, it's a long season and Liverpool are currently set to take part in four separate competitions. With Daniel Sturridge's injury record, it's hard to imagine Benteke won't get plenty of chances. It's just that it's looking like he may not get those chances when everybody else is fit. At least based on what has been seen in recent weeks and as far as Carragher is concerned—and really, it's hard to disagree with him.

"With the performance he put in at the weekend and the way Danny Ings is playing, when Christian Benteke comes back it will be difficult for Brendan Rodgers to get Benteke in the team," Carragher added. "Danny Ings has made a big difference for Liverpool."

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