It has looked for some time like the writing is on the wall for Christian Benteke’s Liverpool career.
He has barely had a sniff of first team action in recent weeks, and is arguably now behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, and Roberto Firmino in the race to be our starting striker.
Add the soon-to-return Danny Ings into the mix, and it seemed like he’d definitely be allowed to leave in the summer.
Not so, says Jurgen Klopp.
“The situation for players is not always the sunny side of life,” said the boss (via Echo).
“Timing is everything. Christian wasn’t in the best moment of his Liverpool career four or five weeks ago. It was obvious.”
Benteke has not started a Premier League game since the 2nd January.
“Daniel Sturridge came back and then we had to think about what we do. Whether to bring Daniel on as a substitute or let him start,” continued Klopp.
“The type of game gives me the best advice about what I have to do. I can’t just say ‘he needs minutes, go’. It is not pre-season. It is a real tournament all the time.
“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.”
It is widely thought that Benteke might start against City on Wednesday. Klopp says Sturridge is theoretically available, but we think it’s highly unlikely he’ll be selected for a third game in six days, especially after playing for two hours on Sunday.
“Until now nobody told me [Sturridge] is out. As long as nobody tells me he has no chance I have to think about what I will do,” he said.