Liverpool boss adamant struggling striker still part of his plans

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is adamant that £32.5m summer signing Christian Benteke has a future at the club despite his struggles

Benteke was signed from Aston Villa back in July to become the Reds’ new focal point in attack, but since the sacking of former manager Brendan Rodgers, the Belgium international has found it difficult to secure a place in the starting XI at Anfield.

New gaffer Klopp has benched the Reds’ second most expensive ever signing several times since his arrival in preference of Roberto Firmino, but the German has come out to insist that Benteke will play a big part in his plans going into the future.

“He needs to stay cool – of course he has a future here,” he is quoted by The Mirror.

“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.

“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.”

The 24-year-old is expected to lead the line against Exeter in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday, and a fine performance could give Klopp an incentive to start him against Norwich City this weekend.

Benteke has made 24 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals.