Christian Benteke’s Liverpool career is over and the striker will be keen to leave Anfield this summer, claims club legend Phil Thompson.
Benteke his slipped behind Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in the pecking order at Anfield and has failed to make any of Jurgen Klopp’s last 12 starting line-ups.
The Belgium striker is currently sidelined with a knee injury picked up on international duty and Soccer Saturday pundit Thommo struggles to see him turning things around between now and the end of the season.
He told Sky Sports: “You don’t need to be an expert or an insider to see that Benteke will be looking to move on in the summer. We’re all trying to read between the lines and I don’t know anything definite but it looks like he’s all but gone.
“I would say for the sake of his own career he needs to leave. He’s got the Euros coming up and he’s going to be sat on the bench with Romelu Lukaku starting and he won’t want the same to happen next season.
“He can’t do the pressing game that Jurgen Klopp demands and you can’t have £32.5million strikers sat on the bench playing a bit part.
“Danny Ings is coming back as well and he’s more suited to doing what Klopp expects, so Benteke could find himself fourth in the pecking order.”
The player recently said he will “fight like a warrior” to save his Liverpool career, but Thommo sees the Chinese Super League as Benteke’s most likely destination, while he thinks it is unlikely that Liverpool would sell to rivals Everton, who could lose Lukaku in the summer.
He added: “Football is stranger than ever but I still think it would be highly unlikely that they’d sell to Everton. I remember back when I was youth team coach we sold Peter Beardsley to Everton and I thought it would come back to bite us, which it did.
“The way the Chinese market is going you’d think that is the most likely source for Liverpool to recoup the fee they spent on him. I’d imagine it will be a similar case for Mario Balotelli.”