Jurgen Klopp may call upon much maligned forward Christian Benteke tonight against Villarreal, Sky Sports report.
The Belgian has been out of action with a hamstring problem recently, but hasn’t been selected to start a game for Liverpool since February’s FA Cup defeat to West Ham – unbelievable considering his £32.5m price-tag.
The 25-year-old travelled with the rest of the squad to Spain for tonight’s Europa League semi-final, and although we don’t expect him to start – that’s Daniel Sturridge’s job – he may play a role off the bench.
“The best news is that Christian is back. He’s not had too many training sessions in the last few weeks but he’s come back in the last few days,” Klopp said.
“He’s not in his best shape but he’s in really good shape, that’s for sure.
“For us, it’s perfect that he’s back – we only have players here in Villarreal who are ready to play a part in the game, there are no tourists. So, if we need him, we can use him.”
Benteke’s debut season has undeniably been a serious failure, and most fans would be happy to see the back of him come the summer – but with Danny Ings and Divock Origi out for the rest of the season – he might still play a part.
That’s because Klopp will want to keep Sturridge fresh, so could use Benteke in our virtually meaningless remaining Premier League fixtures.
It won’t be much of an opportunity, but these matches could provide Benteke one final chance to show Klopp he has a Liverpool future.
Nonetheless, West Brom and West Ham are currently considering summer bids, report the Daily Mail.