Christian Benteke may remain a divisive figure among Liverpool fans following his big money move from Aston Villa last month, but ahead of what’s expected to be his Premier League debut for his new side when the Reds take on Stoke City this Sunday, the 24-year old was in a feisty mood, rebutting scornful statements from his former manager and tackling concerns over his price-tag head on.
“I don’t believe that and I told him,” said the big Belgian following Villa boss Tim Sherwood’s statement that he shouldn’t play for a team that doesn’t cross the ball. “I spoke with him and I explained to him the situation. I said football has changed and the football now is modern and I can adapt. It is not just about crossing, I can score normal goals too,” he added confidently. “If Liverpool bought me, then they know how to use me. That is why I came here and I can show I can play with my feet, too. The manager here will use me how he wants. He knows how to do that.”
The Reds new Number-9, who scored an absolute scorcher in his first appearance for the club as they rounded off their pre-season preparations with a narrow win over Swindon Town, may have some work to do to convince the Kop that he’s the right man to get the goal shy outfit firing again, but he’s not about to let the pressure of his £32.5mil price-tag get the better of him.
“I believe I can produce the goals but I am not alone here. That is the good thing,” explained Benteke. “I have players behind me and around me. I think it is not about money. I knew if I joined a big club I would have some pressure, so I am ready for this challenge,” continued the 24-year old, brushing off suggestions his price-tag could have an effect on his performances. “I will work hard and not worry about things. The money is high but even if it was less, when you join a big club there is pressure so I just have to deal with it.”