Crystal Palace must make a considerable effort to extend Christian Benteke’s contract after the striker’s impressive recent form, pleasing the club’s supporters in the process.
Does Benteke deserve a new contract?
No, let him go
Benteke burst onto the scene when he arrived on English soil with Aston Villa back in 2012, notching up an incredible 19 goals in his maiden campaign with the Villans.
His incredible displays combined power and technique to devastating effect and earned some flattering praise from his then manager, Paul Lambert.
“Benteke has been colossal for us, he’s been unplayable in certain games,” claimed the Scotsman. But it’s been several years since the 30-year-old has reached those dizzy heights.
Three fruitful years at Villa earned Benteke a big-money move to Premier League giants Liverpool, although his inability to adapt to Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing style meant he lasted just 12 months at Anfield.
A move to Palace then materialised, and 15 goals in his first campaign at Selhurst Park appeared to suggest it was a match made in heaven, but things quickly turned sour for the 6 ft 2 target man.
Just six league goals followed between 2017/18 and 2019/20 as the Genk academy graduate become a pillar of ridicule in the English top-flight.
However, in one of the most surreal Premier League campaigns, Benteke has only added to the intrigue. A return to form has seen the Belgian start Palace’s last 11 league games, scoring in his last three outings for the south London side.
The capital club are approaching a crossroads with several first-team players out of contract over the summer, including Benteke, and many tough decisions need to be made by the hierarchy over the coming weeks and months.
Match of the Day 2 used a graphic over the weekend to show all of the stars who are currently set to become free agents, and it’s clear from these fans responses that Benteke is amongst the group that they wanted to be given a new deal.
“Clyne, Ward, Benteke, Cahill and maybe McCarthy and that’s it”
“Benteke, Clyne, Townsend, Cahill McCarthy…”
“Clyney, Ward, Andros, Benteke and Cahill. That’s all for me”
Benteke is Palace’s second-top goalscorer this season, so tying the forward down to a new deal would represent a smart bit of business by the club’s board.