Liverpool's injury situation this season has been so dire that it's difficult to remember a time when manager Jürgen Klopp had options at his disposal in key positions. The team's poor goal scoring record paints an all too obvious picture of one of those areas of concern, but now that both Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are returning from the physio room, it's created a bottleneck of players at striker and Christian Benteke has become the man on the bottom rung of the ladder.
"The situation for players is not always the sunny side of life," Klopp explained, trying to find a positive angle to Benteke's situation. "Timing is everything. Christian wasn't in the best moment of his Liverpool career four or five weeks ago. It was obvious.
"Then Daniel Sturridge came back and then we had to think about what we do. Whether to bring Daniel on as a substitute or let him start. The type of game gives me the best advice about what I have to do. I can't just say 'he needs minutes, go'. It is not pre-season. It is a real tournament all the time."
Benteke didn't even make the bench against Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday, with the nature of the game apparently dictating to Klopp that the Belgian watch the match from somewhere without a pitchside view of the game. It's an easy thing for a player to get down about, but Klopp offered Benteke the usual advice on how to get back into contention for a regular spot on the team sheet.
"The only thing a player, not only Christian, can do in a situation like this is first of all accept it in a positive way," Klopp continued. "Don't think: ‘thank God I don't have pressure on the bench'. Don't talk about it and say: ‘I don't know what I can do'. The answer is train as well as you can and he is in a really good way."
It's advice Brendan Rodgers frequently offered to players who were out of favour, and few ever found their way back into his good books solely by virtue of proving their quality in training every day. With more options up front than the manager has had in months, it remains to be seen whether or not Benteke's fate will be similar under Klopp.