New Crystal Palace signing Christian Benteke believes he was left with no option but to quit Liverpool – and thinks his time there could have been successful under a different manager.
Benteke moved to Selhurst Park on an initial £27million deal which could rise to £32million after the Belgian did not fit into Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Anfield after only scoring 10 times in 42 appearances last season.
The Belgian, who however refuses to blame Klopp for his exit, had offers from elsewhere but it was the lure of regular football under Alan Pardew at Palace that convinced him to make the move to the capital.
“Crystal Palace is a good step for me,” said Benteke. “I am now on a team that might not have the same ambitions as Liverpool, but I can play well and can show me every weekend.
“Of course my dream continues to break through to play at a big club and in European competitions. But I did not go to Palace with the idea to perform and then move on after one season.
“Palace was not my only option. I could earn more elsewhere. But I am 25, a crucial age, and it is important for me to play and feel the confidence.
“I really want to show what I can do this season. I had the chance to call and talk in advance with Alan Pardew. He knows my qualities and, although I had hardly played, I knew I had a good pre-season behind me at Liverpool and would not need much time before I was ready to play.”
Brendan Rodgers was the manager at the Reds when Benteke arrived on Merseyside in a £32million move from Aston Villa and if the Northern Irishman had kept his job then things may have been different for the striker.
“I don’t see my time there as a failure,” said Benteke. “When I signed there was another coach and with him it might have turned out differently.
“I did not fit the tactical system of the new coach. That was not easy mentally because I was left to fight a losing battle. But I must not look for excuses. I could also have done better in those few minutes I got. I have not performed as expected.
“Liverpool is a big club and, there, you do not go looking for the coach, knocking on the door of his office. I am grown man and I was able to deal with it.
“He had a particular system and I did not fit in. It was up to me to find a solution. These are things that happen in a career. There are no regrets.”