By Coral Barry
Christian Benteke is set to return to first-team training with Liverpool next week after a lengthy injury absence, according to Jurgen Klopp.
The striker, who has not featured for the Merseysiders since 20 March, suffered a knee injury during the last international break and has watched from the sidelines as Divock Origi has firmly established himself as Jurgen Klopp’s number one frontman.
But Origi’s absence with damaged ankle ligaments coincides with the impending return of the older of the two Belgium internationals.
“When one door shuts, another door opens,” Klopp said at his media conference on Friday afternoon, as quoted by the Mirror website. “The good news is that Christian feels good. He wants to train. We will give him a few more days. No more training yet.”
Benteke’s return could come at the perfect time after the shattering Liverpool injury news that Origi is set for four to six weeks on the sidelines after being stretched off in the second half of the 4-0 victory over Everton on Wednesday night.
Origi scored in both legs of the extraordinary Europa League quarter-final triumph over Borussia Dortmund and was again on the scoresheet during the 4-0 rout against local rivals Everton on Wednesday night.
The young Belgian had displaced Daniel Sturridge as the new No1 front man at Anfield, and now Benteke could challenge the England international for a starting place.
Benteke, 25, has struggled to live up to his £32.5million price tag since moving from Aston Villa in the summer and has tumbled down the striking pecking order under Klopp.
The former Aston Villa striker had been ruled out for at least a month, although he has been barely missed as Liverpool have secured a series of memorable wins with some outstanding performances.