Benteke ready ‘if we need him’, says Liverpool boss Klopp

Christian Benteke: On his way to Crystal Palace

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says if Liverpool need Christian Benteke against Villarreal then the striker will be called upon.

The Reds face the Yellow Submarine in the Europa League semi-final, first leg in Spain on Thursday night and Benteke has travelled with the squad.

The Belgium international has not featured for the club since the 3-2 defeat at Southampton on March 20 after sustaining a knee injury training with the international side, but Klopp who claimed that now was not the right time to question the striker’s match fitness, says Benteke will be ready for action if required.

“It is the best news that Christian is back. He has not had too many sessions but we watched him in training – although now is not the moment to think if he is in the best shape,” said Reds Klopp.

“After injury that is not too easy, but he is in really good shape that is for sure.

“For us it is perfect that he is back and we have only players here in Villarreal who are only ready for being part tomorrow, there are no tourists. If we need him, we can use him. That’s good.”

Benteke his slipped behind Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in the pecking order at Anfield recently and Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson, a former Liverpool player, believes the striker will leave Anfield in the summer.

“You don’t need to be an expert or an insider to see that Benteke will be looking to move on in the summer. We’re all trying to read between the lines and I don’t know anything definite but it looks like he’s all but gone,” said Thompson earlier this month.