LONDON. — Christian Benteke has voiced his frustration by claiming he would never have signed for English Premiership soccer giants Liverpool if he had known he would finish the season in the shadows.
Benteke said he “finds it hard to understand” why manager Jurgen Klopp “ignores” him.
Benteke (25) has been out of favour since the German became boss, starting just five of the last 16 games.
Klopp said he “had a few words, nothing else” after appearing to react angrily to a Benteke miss in Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat at Southampton on Sunday.
The striker said he would “take stock” of his situation at the end of the campaign with West Ham keen on recruiting him.
Benteke has dropped down the pecking order at Anfield since Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers, who had persuaded Liverpool to sign the Belgium forward from Aston Villa for £32,5million last summer.
He has been consistently overlooked by Klopp and revealed he has sought advice from the likes of Belgium team-mates Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini over his stalled career.
And, in comments which suggest a parting is inevitable in the summer, Benteke said he would never have move to the Merseyside club had he known how his fortunes would nosedive.
“What’s annoying me the most, is that I would have never signed for Liverpool if I wasn’t the manager’s first choice,” said Benteke.
“Everything was there to play a good season at a big club. And it started well …
“I am the first to admit that I haven’t shown enough my worth for a team like Liverpool. On the other hand, under Brendan Rodgers, I knew I would get the opportunity to show my qualities, to show that I was worth the money and that I deserved to wear the shirt of Liverpool. But now . . .
“The last few weeks I am physically and mentally okay. Since I went to England in 2012 I’ve never been on the bench for such a long period. It hurts, especially since I never was as fit as now.
“That’s why I try to grab my chance when I get five or ten minutes playing time. I don’t want people to blame me a lack of professionalism.” — The Daily Express.