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Saturday 10 December 2016

Klopp backs Benteke to end scoring slump

Liverpool's Christian Benteke Photo: PA
Liverpool's Christian Benteke Photo: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed striker Christian Benteke to end his current slump but admits there is "no hiding place" for the £32.5million signing.

The 25-year-old has not scored for 11 matches, a run stretching back to St Stephen's Day, and has just seven goals for the whole season.

He is still Liverpool's top scorer, which speaks volumes about the Reds' general form in front of goal, but with Daniel Sturridge making his long-awaited return from injury in Tuesday's FA Cup exit at West Ham Benteke's situation will come under even more scrutiny.

Klopp has spoken to the Belgium international about his struggles but admits only the player can really help himself.

"I can do a lot of things but at the end - and it is not only with Christian - the last important help comes from the player himself," said the Reds boss.

"It is not the easiest period of his career but the number of opportunities (he is getting) is a good sign, if he had no opportunities it would be a much bigger problem but it is not too easy."

Liverpool head to Benteke's former club Aston Villa tomorrow but Klopp cautioned against that trip sparking the big centre-forward into goalscoring action again.

"I have not the best experience with players coming back to former clubs, it is usually they make more pressure for themselves," the German said.

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