Jurgen Klopp offers major support to out-of-sorts big-money international

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Jurgen Klopp has moved to quash any suggestion that Christian Benteke is not in his plans at Liverpool, and reassured the forward that he has a role to play at Anfield.

The Belgian striker arrived during the summer as part of a big-money deal from Aston Villa, with The Guardian reporting that the Reds parted with £32.5 million to bring him to Merseyside.

However, the attacker has had his fair share of injury concerns this term, and has been in and out of the team under both Brendan Rodgers and his successor Klopp.

Indeed, this term, Benteke has made just 12 starts—coming on as a substitute on a further seven occasions—and has managed just six goals in 19 appearances since moving to the north-west.

The forward is yet to truly ignite, and despite scoring back-to-back winners against Leicester City and Sunderland, he’s not scored in his last five appearances, and has started only two matches so far in 2016.

Having been overlooked for the starting lineup for high-profile matches against both Liverpool and Manchester United, there has been speculation that the striker will be on his way, with the Daily Mail reporting earlier in the month that the hitman was “facing a fight to convince Jurgen Klopp” that he could lead the line.

However, as reported by the Mirror, the German manager has moved to reassure the Belgian that he has a role to play.

“He needs to stay cool – of course he has a future here,” said Klopp.

“We don’t score enough goals, so I understand why you ask about the striker – in your mind the only striker we have. He is on the bench and that seems to be strange, but not in my opinion.

“We have to think about how we create chances. First of all we cannot hope that we can get the ball into the box and then maybe Christian will finish it.

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“He always has the possibility to play, but you have to look how it fits. For example we had games with Roberto (Firmino) and Christian at No.10 and No.9. It did not work but that does not mean we can never play like this.

“To have Christian on the bench is a quality sign.”

Liverpool, who currently sit ninth in the Premier League table, are set to face Exeter City in an FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday.

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