Ian Rush believes Liverpool striker Christian Benteke must be more selfish
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 23/02/16 10:27am
Ian Rush believes Christian Benteke still has a lot to offer Liverpool but must be more selfish in front of goal.
The Reds striker has scored seven goals in 31 appearances in all competitions since his summer move from Aston Villa, and is yet to find the net in 2016.
But Rush, who won the League Cup a record five times, is confident Benteke has the quality to make a difference should he get his chance when Liverpool face Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.
"What he has to do is get in the box, you have to be selfish and score goals," Rush told Sky Sports News HQ. "I went seven games without scoring for Liverpool once, and I got dropped even though we'd won five and drawn two.
"Bob Paisley said 'You are not playing because you are not scoring', and I think Benteke has to be a little bit selfish in the box because when you are a striker, you have to be hungry at the right time.
"Strikers will be judged on goals, not how many you create, and once you start scoring, you start making them as well. If you get him inside the box more, he'll get chances because he is a good finisher and I think he can play in the Liverpool system."
Benteke's struggles have prompted comparisons to Andy Carroll's time at Anfield. Carroll scored 11 goals in 58 games for the Reds, but Rush believes Benteke has more to offer than the former Liverpool striker.
"When you look at Carroll and Benteke, they are both strong in the air, but I think Benteke has a bit more about him," he added. "He has quality with his feet. Carroll is great, but if Benteke gets his confidence he has more to offer.
"He may need a run of games, but that's what I like because when [Daniel] Sturridge is fit, there's competition for places. I think Benteke is a quality player, and I've seen him for Belgium and Aston Villa when he scored some great goals. He just needs a goal."
Sturridge struck twice in his single Capital One Cup appearance this season, against Southampton in December, and the England international is in contention to feature against City following his return from injury.
He played more than an hour against Aston Villa and FC Augsburg, and Rush thinks his presence in the line-up brings confidence to the rest of the team.
"He's special but he needs to be on the pitch," Rush continued. "If we can get him on the pitch, it breeds confidence. We have some great players, but Sturridge is probably a bit different. He can win you games.
"Against Villa he got the first goal and that changed the game completely because it meant they had to come out and play. When you also have Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino you have three quality players that can score you goals.
"My job when I played was to score. If I got one, I wanted two, and if I got two, I wanted three. That's the hunger you have. I know he's been injured a lot, but when Sturridge is on the pitch, he wants to win and score goals, and it brings confidence if he's in the side because we know we can score .
"Daniel has had so many injuries, he wants to get himself 100 per cent fit. I think every player wants to play, and if you're not ready, it's not worth playing, but hopefully, now he is 100 per cent because his goalscoring ratio is incredible."