Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Benteke threat worries Klopp

SoccerNews in English Premier League 28 Oct 2016

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Jurgen Klopp is wary of Christian Benteke spoiling Liverpool’s feel-good factor this weekend.

The Reds will face Benteke for the first time on Saturday following Klopp’s decision to sell the striker to the south London club in August for an initial fee reported to be approximately £27million.

The Belgium international has netted three goals in seven league games for Palace this season and Klopp believes the move has worked out well for all parties.

He told a news conference: “It’s no surprise, we knew about his qualities. Every player needs the space to develop and show things. The move made sense.

“We couldn’t change it [his situation at Liverpool] and I’m pretty sure Christian thought the same, so it made sense to make the transfer.

“We had to make decisions. I’m always honest. My door is always open.”

Klopp’s Liverpool head south as one of three teams, together with Manchester City and Arsenal, level at the top of the Premier League on 20 points.

His work at Anfield so far drew praise from former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson this week, and the German conceded there was a positive feeling around the club.

He added: “One reason for football is we can win together, we can lose sometimes together, but you can always have an optimistic view.

“Maybe we had to change the minds of fans about the past, but while I don’t know too much about enthusiasm I feel there is a positive atmosphere in and around Melwood at the moment. That’s good.”

Klopp expects that positive outlook to be tested by a Palace side he feels can challenge for a place in Europe.

“Palace are a good team and very experienced in defence with high-quality offence,” he said.

“They have made good signings in the summer and in my opinion they can aim for Europe. They’re a really good team.

“It’s a difficult place to play, small, [good] atmosphere. We are looking forward to it. We have to prove we want to stay on track.”

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