Christian Benteke has added his voice to the calls for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to stay at the club beyond this summer’s transfer window.
The 25-year-old Belgian officially joined the club 10 days ago, starting in both home games against Blackpool and Bournemouth since, but following speculation in the press linking Zaha with a switch to Tottenham Hotspur before Wednesday’s deadline, the big man has taken it upon himself to speak directly about his hope of working in tandem with the academy graduate to form a potent attacking force in SE25.
Whilst plenty will claim that a player is unlikely to be too heavily influenced by the words of a teammate when it comes to a decision over their career choices, a statement as bold as the one Benteke has made above, given his status within the game, is almost certain to have some level of impact on the thought processes of a lad like Wilf, who, for the most part, has always appeared desperate to be valued as a vital cog in any side he is a part of.
Some may audibly wonder why a player as new to the group as Benteke is speaking so specifically about the decisions of his new teammates, but there can be no doubt that his words will carry some serious weight in the minds of the attacking players we currently have at our disposal. Thanks to his goal record at Aston Villa and to some extent Liverpool, Christian has a hard earned reputation as one of the game’s premier strikers, leading most to sit up and listen when he decides to offer an opinion on matters relating to the final third of the field.
Steve Parish has already dismissed any chance of Wilfried leaving the club in the current window, but with these latest quotes from Benteke, we may just that Wilf feels a little happier than before at the prospect of remaining in SE25 for the foreseeable future.
He need only look back to the success he had when playing in a team that had Glenn Murray occupying the lone striker’s role to realise how successful he and the club could be with Benteke providing the same goalscoring option.
Let’s hope the big man’s words have the desired effect.