Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp does not believe Christian Benteke's future is in jeopardy following an ineffectual first season at Anfield. The Belgium international has scored eight goals in 35 appearances in all competitions since his move from Aston Villa in the summer and has become a peripheral figure during Klopp's spell in charge.
Roberto Firmino and the fit-again Daniel Sturridge have both been preferred to Benteke in the Reds attack this term, while the performances of the 25-year-old, who has failed to score in 2016, have failed to convince Klopp he is worthy of further opportunities. Benteke has featured for just 37 minutes during the club's last five games, sparking concern over his long-term future.
However, Klopp believes that following his cameo appearance against Manchester City where Benteke came on in the final quarter of the 3-0 win which avenged defeat in the Capital One Cup final, he saw a performance of a player willing to scrap for his future at the club. Klopp is also forgiving of Benteke's role in the first team, given the options he has in attack.
"If you saw him now in the last game, he came in and it was completely different to the games he had before," he said, according to the official Liverpool website. "The problem is at a club like Liverpool, with the strikers we have – Sturridge, Benteke, Origi, Ings injured but here, and Firmino, who we thought it would be a good idea to let him play as a striker too – you have not too much time to show what you are able to do. You need to use the time you've got.
"Christian was not in the best moment in this situation and Sturridge came back and Divock came back and so now they are a little bit ahead in this moment. But when I saw Christian coming into the last game that was really good. He played really well and [did] what he showed in [Liverpool] training before, so he's in a good way too. Everything is OK."