The Reds’ boss described his predecessor as a “nice guy” and it was really quite unusual to hear of such a meeting taking place.
On beIN Sports on Tuesday evening, Rodgers confirmed he’d invited Klopp to his house for an informal chat last year. The Northern Irish coach, who is still out of work after leaving Anfield in early October, reveals they spoke in particular about the importance of giving Christian Benteke time to adapt. (Scroll down this page and click the link to see the video).
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“I remember when Klopp first got the job and we sat down and we spoke,” Rodgers told beIN Sports presenter Richard Keys, per the Mirror. “We sat and had a chat at my house. He’s a good guy. Whatever help he needed going into the job, I was there for that.
“We felt at that time that Christian [Benteke] was up there in terms of goals to games. We felt that he was someone that we didn’t have in the squad. The problem now is the patience element. There doesn’t seem to be time.
“We talked about patience. An example is Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich and he wouldn’t have got the patience in the Premier League that he did in the Bundesliga and now look at him.
"Christian over time will show he’s a top class player."
Video: Rodgers talks about Klopp meeting
Click HERE to watch Brendan Rodgers talk about his meeting with Jurgen Klopp.
Benteke has struggled at Liverpool so far
Benteke was expected to hit the ground running at Liverpool following his £32.5 million summer move from Aston Villa. However, the Belgian international has struggled to impress. In 28 appearances, he has found the back of the net on seven occasions.
Benteke didn’t appear to be a particularly obvious fit for a Brendan Rodgers side - and it’s the same situation for the 25-year-old under Klopp.
The 6ft 3in forward relies on crosses into the box for goals but was never likely to get the service he required in a team managed by Rodgers.
Klopp, meanwhile, has traditionally instructed his forwards to press hard from the front. Energy is key but Benteke is hardly the most dynamic frontman in the world.
Nevertheless, Rodgers clearly feels that Benteke can adapt and prove his doubters wrong at Anfield.
Liverpool fans: do you agree that Christian Benteke will come good in time? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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