Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is reportedly set for “crunch talks” over his immediate future within the next 10 days, following suggestions that a move to Turkish giants Besiktas may well be on the cards this summer.
Having hit the ground running for the Eagles when he joined in the summer of 2016. the Belgian struggled hugely for form throughout the campaign just gone, bagging a paltry three goals in red and blue, one of which came from the penalty spot.
Questions have long been raised over whether or not the big man is suited to the tactical set-up that Roy Hodgson favours, with direct, singularly focused attacking moves having been replaced by intricate one-touch passing counters under the 70-year-old. Whilst that isn’t exactly Benteke’s fault, the financial commitment we have made to him provokes many into asking whether or not the club are getting value for money on a week-by-week basis.
With Alexander Sørloth and Connor Wickham expected to play a full role in Palace’s 25-man squad from the start of next season, I for one wouldn’t blame Hodgson if he looked to shake up our striking options by shipping Benteke out to a willing buyer. If the report attached above is to be believed, Besiktas may well fit the bill but with Christian currently taking home more than £100,000-a-week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see contract negotiations hitting an insurmountable hurdle.
Having paid Liverpool £30 million to sign him, I would imagine the Palace hierarchy are now accepting of the fact that such a fee won’t be offered by anyone with an interest in taking him off our hands. That said, despite his barren goal-scoring run, I’d like to think that offers of between £15-20 million would still be forthcoming from certain clubs.
I have no doubt that Benteke is still capable of scoring a bundle of goals when confident and playing in a system that suits him. For a multitude of reasons, Palace appear to heading further and further away from a style that bends to his strengths, leaving us with a potentially long-running summer story-line to keep on top of.
Personally, I hope that any deal (if there is a concrete offer at all) reaches its conclusion promptly, thus allowing us to source a suitable replacement before the madness that Deadline Day brings.