Return of Liverpool's Christian Benteke pleases Jurgen Klopp

Christian Benteke, Jurgen Klopp, Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Premier League
Image: Christian Benteke is available to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on Thursday night

Jurgen Klopp admits he is delighted to have Christian Benteke back in the Liverpool squad for Thursday's Europa League semi-final at Villarreal.

Benteke returned to full training earlier this week after a month out with a knee ligament injury sustained on international duty with Belgium.

The 25-year-old, who last featured for Liverpool in the 3-2 defeat at Southampton on March 20, is expected to be named among the substitutes for the first-leg tie at the Estadio El Madrigal.

Benteke's return to fitness is a welcome boost for Klopp, who lost Divock Origi to a "serious injury" during last week's Merseyside derby.

Klopp said: "The best news is that Christian is back. He's not had too many training sessions in the last few weeks but he's come back in the last few days.

Christian Benteke
Image: Benteke has struggled to justify his £32.5m transfer fee

"He's not in his best shape but he's in really good shape, that's for sure.

"For us, it's perfect that he's back - we only have players here in Villarreal who are ready to play a part in the game, there are no tourists. So, if we need him, we can use him."

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The Belgium forward has struggled to score on a consistent basis for Liverpool since joining the club from Aston Villa for £32.5m last summer.

Benteke has scored only eight times this season and last month accused Klopp of "ignoring him", leading to speculation that he could leave Anfield in the summer.

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