Christian Benteke insists he has no axe to grind with Jurgen Klopp and has denied claims that he was a “failure” at Liverpool.
Benteke became the Reds’ second most expensive player of all time when Brendan Rodgers paid Aston Villa £32.5m in the summer 2015, but the Belgian spent just one season at Anfield before leaving to join Crystal Palace last year.
Benteke’s Anfield struggles started when Klopp succeeded Rodgers as manager, with the Belgian making just eight Premier League starts under the German during their time together at Anfield.
Despite that, the Belgian still scored nine league goals, and harbours no ill feelings towards Klopp.
“I can’t be annoyed with him,” the striker told Sport Foot magazine. “I was frustrated at the time, but in any case, it’s not a person who’ll manage to destroy what I have built or what I will build. In my head, I’m the sort of person who says, ‘If it doesn’t work here, it’ll work elsewhere.’
“Did I want to show him he was wrong when I went back to Anfield? It’s only human, but I didn’t want to force my game. When I scored and even if I tried to hide it, I was very happy. But I stayed respectful. A lot of players would have provoked the coach, the fans. But it’s not in my nature.
“I wasn’t able to express myself. People make me laugh when they say that stat that I scored almost as many goals against Liverpool as for them.
“But with Liverpool, I almost never played. And despite that, I still scored nine league goals. In my opinion, a failure is when you start a job, you finish it and you fail.
“But I didn’t have the chance to express myself enough to talk of a failure.”