By Matt Farr
Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke claims he was made to feel like a loser during his time at Liverpool.
The Belgian striker spent a year at Anfield, but endured a frustrating time amid a lack of first-team opportunities.
Then-manager Brendan Rodgers had brought him to the club for a mega £32.5million fee, but when he was later replaced by Jurgen Klopp, Benteke slipped down the pecking order.
Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace offered him a way out last summer, and paid £27million to make him their club record signing.
Benteke has since thrived at Selhurst Park, netting eight goals from 16 appearances in all competitions so far this term, and is grateful for the faith shown in him by Pardew.
Speaking of his Anfield frustration, Benteke told L’Equipe: “When Klopp came in, given the players available to him… I wasn’t among his first choices.
“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.
“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.”
Crystal Palace have greatly benefited from Benteke’s arrival, but still find themselves languishing in 16th place and an inevitable relegation battle.
However, with 28 goals scored by Palace in the league this season – more than any other side outside the top five – the Belgian could hold the key to their survival bid.
Liverpool, meanwhile, don’t appear to be missing Benteke at all, having scored a league high 40 goals of their own from just 16 games.
Palace face league leaders Chelsea on Saturday in a game that could either see Pardew’s men end Chelsea’s 10 game winning run, or lose ground on their relegation rivals.
In other Liverpool news, Jan Molby believes Loris Karius will become Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper in the future.