Jurgen Klopp explains why he's positive about Christian Benteke's return to the side

Benteke has been something of a maligned figure after an underwhelming first season at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that it is 'the perfect thing' that Christian Benteke is back in contention to play again after a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

The £32.5 million summer signing from Aston Villa has not lived up to the price tag since his arrival on Merseyside - scoring just eight goals this season and only one this calendar year - but with striking options a little more limited with Divock Origi effectively ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury, Benteke does provide Klopp with another option going into a crucial phase of the Reds' season.

He is quoted by the official Liverpool website, saying: "Christian Benteke is as you'd expect, he wasn't involved in too many sessions but the last few days he came back.

"We watch him in training, now is not the moment to think about if he's in his best shape because after injury obviously that's not too easy.

"For us, it's perfect that he's back and we only have players here in Villarreal who are ready for playing.

"There are no tourists. If we need, we can do it, and that's good."

Given how Daniel Sturridge has operated with Origi in recent weeks, it would not be altogether surprising to Benteke given some kind of role from the bench this evening at El Madrigal, and maybe even a start for the weekend's Premier League trip to Swansea City where there is the possibility Klopp will make several changes ahead of the second leg of the tie as the Reds look to give themselves the best chance of reaching the Europa League final.

There may have been certain comments made on international duty from the Belgian that will have gone down too well, but this is a time for the squad to pull together as they look to finish their season with silverware and qualify for the Champions League in the process.

Even if Benteke is not the first-choice striker, he has an opportunity to not only do a good job for the team, but try to convince the manager that there is a future for him at the club. He has done so in flashes, but nowhere near consistently enough, and his work rate has also been an issue. 

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