Benteke on Reds exit: I left to avoid becoming ‘a loser’

Joe Williams

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has revealed he had to leave Liverpool in order to “be happy” and get out of “the situation of a loser”.

He joined the Reds in the summer of 2015 in a deal worth £32.5million from Aston Villa but he found it difficult to force his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans when he replaced Brendan Rodgers at the helm.

The Belgian insists he never fell out with Klopp during his time at Anfield and says his relationship with the German was “good”.

“We have always had a good relationship,” Benteke told L’Equipe.

“I went to see him in my first season at Aston Villa in 2013 because he wanted me to sign for Dortmund … It’s the sort of thing you have to accept.

“You have to face up to it. When Klopp came in, given the players available to him … I wasn’t among his first choices.

“Given the way he wanted to play, perhaps there were more interesting players than me. But I’m not a child: I didn’t cry, I didn’t moan, even if of course I wanted to play. It was frustrating.”

Benteke has scored eight goals in 13 Premier League matches since he left Anfield for Crystal Palace and can now be “happy” at Selhurst Park.

“Of course it gives me more confidence,” Benteke continued. “Even if you have a good game, help the team, in the end people only remember whether or not you have scored.

“It’s thanks to Alan Pardew that I came here, because he believes in me. I needed to get some playing time. I scored early, which was important.

“You can’t allow yourself to give up, to stay in the situation of a loser, so you try to find a solution, to be happy. I found that by coming to Crystal Palace, and I’m happy today.”