1 Apr 2016

Confirmed Team News: £40m Liverpool star definitely out of Spurs; 'exciting' attacker 'available'

Liverpool face Spurs tomorrow in a hotly anticipated Premier League clash at Anfield, and ahead of the game, Jurgen Klopp has officially confirmed that one of the club's strikers will definitely miss the match.

In his pre-Spurs press conference today, Klopp told reporters:

"He [Benteke] is not available and we have to wait for further assessments to know exactly how long it will be. But for this game for sure, he has no chance. Divock Origi^ [is] back in training...so he’s available.

This injury has come at the worst possible time for Benteke. After being marginalised for the last three months, the Belgian is running out of time to prove that he has what it takes to become part of Klopp's plans.

Just last week, Benteke made clear his frustration at being left out in the cold:

“When your coach says he wanted to take you toDortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you it is hard to understand. I find it bizarre".

Benteke's frustration is entirely understandable, and he has basically restated the exact argument I've made all season:

* Klopp tried to sign Benteke at Dortmund, which presupposes that he'd analysed his strengths/weaknesses, and developed a plan to effectively integrate him into his Gegenpressing style.

* Then, when Klopp actually has Benteke in his squad, it's blatantly clear that Klopp has no idea how to get the best out of him, which is why I maintain that Klopp is 90% to blame for the Belgian's struggles.

Benteke - described by Steven Gerrard as 'terrific - probably thought that signing for Liverpool would enhance his international prospects, but Klopp's mismanagement has ensured that the striker's Euro 2016 chances are now hanging by a thread.

Bottom line: allegedly inferior managers like Lambert and Sherwood managed to get the best out of £40m-rated Benteke, yet Klopp - who, according to LFC fans, is one of the best in Europe - has utterly failed to get anything out of him.

That said, irrespective of the reasons for Benteke's ineffectiveness, it's time for a change, and the days of spending big bucks on tall, comparatively immobile strikers are hopefully over.

^ Described today by Jurgen Klopp as 'exciting'.

Author: Jaimie K



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