Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool: three players who may suffer

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Jurgen Klopp has received an outstanding amount of praise since he took over as Liverpool manager last week.

The German's first press conference was as charismatic as ever, and Kopites cannot wait to see him in the dugout on Sunday against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Players who were favoured by Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked following Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Everton, will now have to impress their new manager to maintain their stranglehold in the starting XI.


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Fringe players have a clean slate with Klopp on board, also.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager will be keen to quickly establish his best team and there could be a number of players who suffer.

Christian Benteke

When it was announced that Liverpool would sign Christian Benteke, the decision split the opinion of many.

Some argued that he was a proven goalscorer in the Premier League having netted 42 goals from 89 appearances for Aston Villa, who had fought for survival for the three seasons he played for the Birmingham outfit.

Meanwhile, others debated that Benteke was nothing but a big target-man who scores goals from balls coming in from wide areas.

Rodgers paid £32.5 million for the services of the Belgium international from Villa. On face value, the fee looked too steep; however, with the arrival of Klopp, it appears to be an obscene amount of money.

Benteke meets the criteria of being a target-man. He stands at 6 ft 3 inches and the majority of his goals at Villa Park came from crosses, with the former Genk man using his physical attributes to dominate defenders in aerial duals.

He thrived under Tim Sherwood at the back-end of last season because the former Tottenham Hotspur manager insisted his team got the ball out to the flanks and whipped the ball towards Benteke.

That style of play completely contrasts what Klopp will want from his new side.

The 48-year-old encourages high intensity, pressing to win the ball back quickly and his striker is his first defender.

Benteke, being as big a unit as he is, does not have the physique to meet this demand from the first to the final whistle. His tracking back is questionable and it is unimaginable that Klopp will adapt his philosophy to suit the 24-year-old.

Benteke was dragged off at half-time in Belgium's 1-0 win against Cyprus last month as manager Marc Wilmots was displeased with the striker's work ethic and called it a "half-performance."

James Milner

The main reason James Milner swapped Manchester City for Liverpool was because of Rodgers.

The England international snubbed a lucrative £165,000-a-week contract at the Citizens to move to Anfield because he was promised a central midfield role by Rodgers.

Milner was a prominent member of the Reds' squad under Rodgers and has been captaining the team in the absence of the injured Jordan Henderson.

For the majority of his career, the 29-year-old has been known as Mr Reliable and all of his managers have utilised him in a number of positions.

Manuel Pellegrini constantly used the former Leeds United man in all areas, whether it was out wide in midfield or sometimes even upfront. His versatility was his own downfall in many ways.

Approaching 30, Milner is nearing the twilight years of his career. He's not had the same influence in the centre of the park at Anfield that he has done in the past and a real presence is needed.

He is still likely to play a role under Klopp; however, it may mean him unfavourably being out of position once again.

Emre Can could be pushed into midfield by Klopp alongside Henderson, and Milner may have to settle for a role on the right-wing, which Kevin Grosskreutz mastered at Dortmund.

Milner is renowned for his work-rate and selfless attitude - much like Grosskreutz - and, although he will have his responsibility stripped, still will be vital in Klopp's side.

Joe Allen

Given Joe Allen had limited opportunities under Rodgers, he will likely get even less of a chance under the stewardship of Klopp.

The Welshman was one of Rodgers' first signings when he took the Anfield hot seat in 2012, signing for £12 million after they had a successful stint together at Swansea City.

Allen has failed to make an impact at the Merseyside outfit. He was dubbed as the 'Welsh Xavi' by Rodgers upon his arrival and has far from lived up to that title.

Allen is too slow on the ball to meet Klopp's criteria. He's neat and tidy but there is no real end product to his work.

He can neither attack nor defend and is somewhat in limbo when he plays.

With Can likely to be deployed in midfield as well as Lucas having impressed this season, Allen could well be sold in January.

Who will be in Klopp's first starting XI? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Premier League
Steven Gerrard
James Milner
Joe Allen
Christian Benteke

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