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Jürgen Klopp: Christian Benteke Needs Time To Adapt At Liverpool

.Jürgen Klopp has uttered his sentiments about his striker. Klopp said Christian Benteke needs time to adapt at Liverpool, claiming the impa...

.Jürgen Klopp has uttered his sentiments about his striker. Klopp said Christian Benteke needs time to adapt at Liverpool, claiming the impatience of English football would have prevented Robert Lewandowski from becoming one of the world’s finest forwards had he started in the Premier League.

The Liverpool manager, who met his predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, recently, doubts Benteke can start a second game in four days against Swansea City on Sunday as he regains fitness following a hamstring problem. But he has no reservations over the Belgium international’s long-term worth providing he has time to adapt at Liverpool after his £32.5m move from Aston Villa in the summer.
Liverpool’s Christian Benteke ‘A brilliant player,’ said his manager
Liverpool’s Christian Benteke ‘A brilliant player,’ said his manager
Benteke sealed victory over Bordeaux and a place in the last 32 of the Europa League for Liverpool on Thursday with his fifth goal of the season.

Klopp said: “It was a very important goal for him. When I came here he was injured. I know a lot about Christian because when he was at Aston Villa we [Borussia Dortmund] were interested in him, everyone was interested.

“A brilliant player but like everyone else if you are injured and come back everyone thinks you now have to be the Christian Benteke that he has shown before straight away. Each person needs time so he can get better, better, better. He worked hard against Bordeaux but we did not play too often in this formation so it was not easy for him and Roberto [Firmino] to close the lines. It wasn’t perfect but with time they can get better and better.”

Klopp drew parallels to the careers of Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, two strikers he brought to Dortmund and who lead the Bundesliga goalscoring chart with 14 and 15 goals respectively, Lewandowski now being at Bayern Munich. The German coach believes there is a marked contrast between the development time afforded in the Bundesliga and Premier League.

“I can tell you I am not sure that Robert Lewandowski could have developed into the Robert Lewandowski of today in England because no one is patient enough to wait for this,” he said. “He made seven goals in his first year and I don’t know what you would say about him if he made seven goals in one year and played all the time. ‘Not good enough, come on, sell him!’ Aubameyang needed three years for his performance at the moment, so sometimes you have to work together. It is very important in football.

“There is no doubt about the quality of all the strikers we have, no doubt at all. Now we have to help them to show it better and better. A striker more than any player needs the help of the rest of the team. They cannot take the ball and go through and make a goal so they need fine-tuned football, played here, played there, crosses, whatever – give them the ball in the right area. That is what we try and do but there is no doubt to the quality.”

Klopp confirmed he recently met Rodgers but refused to disclose whether the problems his predecessor encountered at Anfield were discussed.

Dejan Lovren: Jürgen Klopp has changed Liverpool – we now play as a team

“It was a really nice talk, he is a nice guy,” Klopp said. “I said that before I met him and we had a good talk. There was nothing else about sport; we spoke about the world and private things. It is not for you [to know]. I did things like this with Thomas Tuchel [his successor] at Dortmund and why shouldn’t I?

“If I want to know something about Liverpool I can read Marco Polo. I know where the Albert Docks are. Always when a new manager settles in things change. If I wanted to ask him something about the club I would have met him earlier, not after six weeks.”