Thursday 8 December 2016

Christian Benteke included in Liverpool squad to face Villarreal

Carl Markham

Published 27/04/2016 | 12:17

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke

Striker Christian Benteke has travelled with Liverpool's squad for their Europa League semi-final first-leg tie in Villarreal.

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The Belgium international has not featured for the club since the 3-2 defeat at Southampton on March 20 after sustaining a knee injury training with the international side.

However, manager Jurgen Klopp has included in him in his squad for the crucial two-legged semi-final, although with Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino ahead of him in the pecking order the best he can expect in Spain is a place on the bench.

With Divock Origi out for up to six weeks with ankle ligament damage Benteke's return at least boosts Klopp's options up front.

Liverpool's other injured striker Danny Ings, who has been out since October with a cruciate knee-ligament injury, is edging closer to rejoining first-team training but is unlikely to feature this season.

However, the club are awaiting the outcome of the Professional Football Compensation Committee's decision on a valuation for Ings after they met on Tuesday.

Ings joined on a free transfer from Burnley in the summer and the Clarets are entitled to compensation due to his age.

They went into the tribunal looking for a record fee between £10million and £12million having reportedly had a £12million bid from Tottenham despite the player already deciding he wanted to go to Anfield.

Ings gave a personal testimony to the panel and Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre was scheduled to give evidence at the tribunal but he attended the reading of the Hillsborough inquest verdicts so the club's head of legal Jonathan Bamber represented their case.

Press Association Sport understands a written decision is expected in the next few days.

Press Association

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