9 Dec 2015

Aldo insists: Klopp 'should' unleash £57m Liverpool-duo and 'fantastic' youngster against Sion. Agree?

Liverpool face FC Sion in the Europa League on Thursday, and after the weekend's calamitous defeat at Newcastle, Anfield legend John Aldridge has called on Jurgen Klopp to make significant changes for the game.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo urged Klopp to name a weakened team against Sion, and called for fringe players to be given a chance to stake a claim. He explained:

"Klopp should use the game to get some more experience into players like Connor Randall and Jordan Rossiter. Jordan Henderson and Benteke [also] need game time".

Liverpool have already qualified for the next round of the Europa League, so there's no much riding on the game.

That said, playing a weakened team means there's an increased risk of defeat, and two losses in a week is not ideal preparation for the intensive run of games coming up over the Christmas period.

Rossiter has been back in training for a couple of weeks now, and he made his return to action during last week's 3-2 U21 defeat to Manchester United. After the game, U21 coach Michael Beale enthused:

"The big positive was Rossiter, [which] is fantastic. He’s looking to push on with his fitness now, spending every day at Melwood, which is great for him.”

Whether Rossiter is ready for first-team action again remains to be seen, but having Henderson back in the starting line up will be a big boost for the team.

As for Benteke: he has 7 goals/assist so far this season, but he's been largely ineffective over the last two games. I don't blame him, though. Like Rodgers with Balotelli, Klopp is not getting the best out of Benteke, and when it comes to the crunch, the buck stops with the manager.

* If Benteke is in the starting line-up, then the team has to play to his strengths, and that's not happening.

* There's rarely any genuine width in the team; crossing is lamentable (18% accuracy this season), and the overall level of service from Lallana, Milner, Can, Ibe, Firmino etc is laughably poor.

* Benteke may not press like a madman, but not every player in the team needs to do that. There are countless examples of top strikers who don't/didn't engage in the high press (Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie, Berbatov, Ibrahimovic, Sturridge etc).

* A striker's job is to SCORE, and if Benteke gets the service, he will score. Let Lucas, Can, Milner at al do the donkey work; after all, how many defensive-minded players does one team need?

Bottom line: Klopp tried to sign Benteke for Dortmund, so he clearly knows his strengths and weaknesses. As such, the onus is on the manager to create an environment in which the Belgian can flourish.

If Klopp can't do that, then it's arguably his failing, not Benteke's.

* Henderson: £25m-rated. Benteke: Cost = £32m (Total = £57m)

Author: Jaimie K


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