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Crystal Palace can’t afford to lose Christian Benteke amid West Brom interest

According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, West Bromwich Albion are closing in on the signing of Christian Benteke from Crystal Palace.

What’s the word?

Benteke, 30, has played 130 first-team games for the Eagles, scoring 26 goals and supplying 11 assists, including a brace against the Baggies in the 5-1 win at the Hawthorns.

However, his place may be under threat with Roy Hodgson opting to start Michy Batshuayi instead of Benteke in the 1-0 victory over Wolves at Selhurst Park.

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And now, The Sun claim West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has been given the green light by Steve Parish to sign the Palace striker before the January transfer window closes tomorrow. However, in giving Albion the go-ahead, the Palace chairman could be committing a heinous mistake.

Stand firm

Benteke is out-of-contract at Selhurst Park at the end of this season and it appears that Palace are open to letting him go in the current transfer window rather than risk losing him on a free in the summer.

But such a decision to sell him could come back to haunt Hodgson’s side. After all, Jean-Philippe Mateta is still unproven in the Premier League and Batshuayi’s struggles have been well-documented this season, having scored just once in 13 top-flight appearances.

Benteke hit 15 goals in his debut season for the Eagles to form a deadly strikeforce with Wilfried Zaha and already has four this term – three more than Batshuayi himself.

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It looks unlikely that Palace will renew Batshuayi’s contract or sanction a permanent move for the struggling Chelsea striker which would leave Hodgson short of options up front.

Perhaps the safest option for Palace would actually be to keep the £8m-rated ace until the summer and then take the hit then instead.

AND in other news, Crystal Palace target Marvelous Nakamba could replace James McCarthy

Article title: Crystal Palace can’t afford to lose Christian Benteke amid West Brom interest

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