One of the unexpected stars of Crystal Palace’s season has been striker Christian Benteke.
The striker, now 30, is in the midst of a positive campaign showing form that has on occasion echoed back to his prolific first season at Selhurst Park.
However, just as he has regained some goalscoring instincts, Palace could be set to lose him. Benteke’s contract is up at the end of the season, with Belgian outfits Royal Antwerp and Club Brugge reportedly interested in making a move for him on a free transfer.
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Should he leave in the summer, then it would certainly be a huge blow for Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson.
Whilst still not on top form, the £8.1m-rated striker has still managed to score six goals in all competitions this season for the Eagles.
Remarkably, that is the same amount that he had managed to net in each of the last three campaigns combined.
For context, the mercurial Wilfried Zaha is the only player currently at the club to have scored more than Benteke with nine, whilst fellow strikers Jordan Ayew, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Michy Batshuayi have only managed to find the net on four occasions between them this season.
It goes to show then that whilst Benteke has still not managed to return to the peak of his powers, he is certainly still crucial to Palace and their way of playing.
Should he be allowed to leave, whilst Batshuayi returns to parent club Chelsea, this will of course leave the Eagles looking threadbare in attacking positions – an aspect that they simply cannot afford if they once again want to avoid relegation to the Championship.
So, seeing news of Benteke’s potential suitors amidst his ever-decreasing deal will be a blow to manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
AND in more news, find out why a hint from Roy Hodgson could give the Eagles a big boost…