LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 6, 2016: Liverpool's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the winning second goal against Crystal Palace from a penalty kick with team-mate Emre Can during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JÜRGEN Klopp believes the sale of Christian Benteke to Crystal Palace suited all parties, as the Belgian prepares to face his old Reds teammates.

The striker secured a £30million move to Selhurst Park back in August, after falling down the pecking order at Liverpool.

But his former manager believes he always had the quality to succeed, he just needed to right environment to thrive in.

Klopp said: “It’s no surprise. When you have a player like Christian in your squad, of course we knew about his quality.

“But every player needs the space to perform, to develop and to show things. For different reasons we couldn’t give him all the time (he needed), you lose a little bit of confidence, you feel pressure.

“We couldn’t change it and I thought, and I’m pretty sure Christian thinks the same, it made sense. He made the transfer so, for Crystal Palace, what a player.

“We know it best because we had him all the time in training and in all moments he showed always his quality.”

Benteke had claimed during his time at Liverpool that he was unhappy with his role at the club, while earlier this week Simon Mignolet suggested he isn’t happy to be number two, behind summer signing Loris Karius.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after the 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But Klopp refuted suggestions of unhappiness from his players, insisting his door is always open to discuss issues.

“I’m always honest and I say my door and the door in the team is always open but it’s about performing.

“We have always this agreement: work hard, don’t talk too much, win games. If a player doesn’t want to be happy I can’t keep him happy, but if he wants to be happy it’s quite easy for me to keep him happy.

“Being happy only when you make 48 games, it’s difficult for each player. To feel you are important for the team, that’s 100 per cent true for each player in the squad. I think it’s not too difficult to be happy in our team.”

Klopp was also quizzed on comments made by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson earlier in the week – that Liverpool are now genuine title contenders – but he claimed that, while it is nice to hear, it doesn’t mean a lot.

Klopp joked: “I’m not sure it’s allowed if I say I like Alex Ferguson as Liverpool manager.

“I knew him before and he’s a really nice person. He did what he had to do at Manchester and that automatically means it’s not good for Liverpool.

“When he has to say something positive about Liverpool, it’s better than if he would say something negative so it’s all good. But it doesn’t mean a lot. It doesn’t disturb us or help us.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the Football League Cup 4th Round match against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was revealed recently that Liverpool would move away from Melwood, with a view to combining the first team and academy facilities, but Klopp refused to be drawn on the move.

“It makes sense to improve the circumstances. We didn’t finally decide about it because it’s not all in our hands but of course we have to think about developing things, to make it more likely to get the best out of our talents, to have the best circumstances for the first team, the under-23s, all the youth teams, and space is an important thing to think about.”

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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo

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