Yesterday saw news break of Manchester United agreeing a fee of £75 million with Everton for Romelu Lukaku, leaving Chelsea out in the cold. This morning, it seems as though the Blues have turned their attentions to Palace frontman Christian Benteke.
No doubt peeved at the thought of their top summer target choosing a move to Manchester over a return to Stamford Bridge, it seems as though the Blues’ boss is a fan of Belgium’s second choice striker too, with his calmly taken winner in our 2-1 win over them last season probably aiding the big man’s cause.
For Palace fans are officials alike, this news is far from welcome, following a season in which Benteke bagged a mightily impressive 17 goals despite the team battling against the drop for the majority of the campaign. Occupying the role of the team’s undisputed first-choice striker, Christian is under no threat of being dropped from Palace’s side in the near future; a fact that couldn’t be further from the truth if he did end up moving across London to play for the champions.
Admittedly, Benteke has spoken of the time it took to adapt to Palace’s style of play when he first made the switch from Liverpool but towards the end of the last campaign, he made extremely positive noises about the 2017-18 season at Selhurst Park, having bedded in well with the squad in the latter months of the last campaign. Now, with Frank de Boer likely to tweak the system over the course of pre-season, I for one am interested to see how Benteke fits into his plans with the new boss almost certainly keen to eek out every ounce of value from the club’s record signing.
It sounds like a ludicrous thing to say about a club who have just been crowned champions of England but things don’t seem to be particularly harmonious behind the scenes in west London. With Conte reportedly growing more and more frustrated with the power balance above him in the Blues’ hierarchy, Benteke would arguably be better off snubbing any interest from them and staying with a club where he is already loved.
I would say that though, wouldn’t I?