REUTERS – Christian Benteke believes Juergen Klopp is the right manager to help him develop into a more potent attacking threat for Liverpool.
The Belgian striker scored the winner in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Leicester City on Saturday after coming on for injured compatriot Divock Origi in the first half.
This was only his fourth goal in 12 games since Klopp took over as Liverpool manager from Brendan Rodgers in October.
“I spoke with the manager a few days ago about where I can improve and what he is expecting from me,” Benteke told British media.
“We had a good conversation. We had like a ‘man conversation’ and I think it is going to help me and help the team.
“I think I have to run more and I have to be there for my team mates.”
Benteke, who moved from Aston Villa in July for 32.5 million pounds ($48.37 million), had gone six league games without a goal before Saturday, with Klopp opting to start Roberto Firmino and Origi in attack.
“You could see against Leicester that I showed I understand his message and now I have to keep going like that,” Benteke said.
“I want to start, of course. Every player wants to play but it is the decision of the manager and I have to be ready.”
Liverpool are already missing striker Danny Ings for the entire season due to a knee ligament injury and fitness questions hang over England international Daniel Sturridge.
Klopp insisted on Saturday that he would not rush to include Sturridge in his starting line-up, despite the former Chelsea forward taking to social media to declare his fitness.
“Perfect gift for Christmas from the boys getting a win. On a sidenote, I’m back training and good to go,” Sturridge said on Twitter.
Eighth-placed Liverpool will look to make it back-to-back wins when they take on Sunderland on Wednesday. The Black Cats, who are second from bottom in the table, are on a four-game winless run.
(Reporting by Nayan Das in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)