Ever since his big money move to Liverpool, Christian Benteke has just not been able to live up to his reputation as a goal scorer and has somewhat become a bench warmer under Jurgen Klopp.
Previous manager Brendan Rodgers spent £32.5 million on the Belgium hit-man who even in a stuttering campaign is still the joint-highest goal scorer for the club.
He has now fallen down the pecking order at Anfield with Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi both fit since a couple of weeks. He was on the bench in the League Cup final but was not used undermining the fact that the German manager will pick his players on the basis of their form and not their price tags.
However, Klopp before the mid-week game against Manchester City made it clear that that it is down to the Belgian to fight his way back into the team and that he has to grasp his opportunities in a Red shirt for the rest of the season.
“The situation for players is not always the sunny side of life,” Klopp said.
Benteke last started a league game for Liverpool on the 2nd of January and has ever since not been able to make any kind of an impact on the field for the Reds.
“Timing is everything. Christian wasn’t in the best moment of his Liverpool career four or five weeks ago. It was obvious,” Klopp added.
However, Klopp when asked about the situation of the strong striker explained his decisions of starting Sturridge ahead of him. He made it clear that Benteke will have to work hard and stay positive to drive his way back into the team.
“The only thing a player, not only Christian, can do in a situation like this is first of all accept it in a positive way. Don’t think: ‘thank God I don’t have pressure on the bench’. Don’t talk about it and say: ‘I don’t know what I can do’.
“The answer is train as well as you can and he is in a really good way.”
The second most expensive signing in the club’s history has struggled to prove that he can fit into Klopp’s high-tempo style. But the manager insists there is a way back for him.
“It is not a perfect moment for Christian and the other side is Divock is back,” he said.
“As a striker especially you have to work in the moment. You can come in, play well and score and it will change immediately.”
Klopp also reminded everyone that Daniel Sturridge who played the whole of the League Cup final might not be ready for this game. However, he denied ruling the striker out completely for the clash.
“Until now nobody told me he is out. As long as nobody tells me he has no chance I have to think about what I will do,” he said, talking about Sturridge’s situation.
He also explained that the work of a manager is really hard and that things keep changing constantly. He explained that it was difficult to give out accurate information before a game and that he will have to wait till the start of the match to see who is available.
“You need a bit of university (education) to understand it and I’m only a manager. Everything changes in an hour or two, day or overnight. We’ll recover and see who is available,” he added.