Michael Owen says that striker Christian Benteke has struggled in his first half season

Michael Owen says that striker Christian Benteke has struggled in his first half season with Liverpool largely because he has been lacking confidence.

The Belgian international made a big money move to Anfield. He had already established himself as one of the deadliest marksmen in the Premier League during his time at Aston Villa. Many doubted his ability to make an impact at Liverpool since the club largely prefer to play their football on the ground. As expected, the striker has struggled. Despite having a number of opportunities even against lesser clubs, Benteke has struggled to score.

His latest problems came in the win against Exeter City. Despite being presented with several clear cut chances, he failed to score and former striker Owen says that it is simply down to low confidence levels. Confidence is very important to the success of any striker.

Since players in this position do not get much time on the ball, they have to be very quick with their decision making. Those decisions also have to be correct more often than not. A player with low levels of confidence struggles to make a decision and this results in a lost opportunity. This is the cause of Benteke’s struggles according to Owen, who has himself gone through tough times in his career.

"That last chance was just typical of what he's going through at the moment. Total lack of confidence. When you're running through one-on-one, you're in control, you dictate where the goalkeeper goes, you dictate everything, you've got the ball.He should be squaring it, he should swallow his pride and square it straight away but it's just a total lack of confidence. It's almost like he runs and runs and runs, lifts his head up and then thinks what next?” said the former Liverpool striker.