Crystal Palace have established themselves as a Premier League mainstay since their promotion in 2013, finishing no lower than 15th place in the table under managers such as Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, and Alan Pardew.
The club enticed some big names to play at Selhurst Park in order to improve the Palace side, with the likes of Yahan Cabaye, Andros Townsend, and Steve Mandanda playing for the team. although it was another Pardew signing which drained the club’s finances massively and didn’t represent good value for money…
Pardew brought Benteke to the club in the summer of 2016 for a club record fee of £32m – £27m upfront followed by an additional £5m in potential add-ons. It came after the Belgian striker failed to settle at Liverpool, scoring only ten goals in 42 appearances in all competitions.
It was clear he wouldn’t be guaranteed a starting spot under Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield side would have been ecstatic are recouping most of the fee they paid Villa only a year earlier.
Fast forward six years and Benteke didn’t exactly have the desired input that Pardew or any subsequent Palace managers had hoped for.
Although it didn’t start off too badly, with 17 goals scored, but this was as good as it would get for the striker. Benteke would only score another 20 goals for the club in the following five seasons.
All in all, he netted 37 times for the Eagles, at a cost of £865k per goal, hardly the return the club expected when they signed him from Liverpool.
His finishing was even dubbed “woeful” by journalist Lee Ryder following a match against Newcastle United and proved to be the lowest point during his six-year stint.
The 31-year-old ended his six-year spell at the club this summer by making the move across the pond to MLS side DC United, who are managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney.
He became the club’s highest-paid player in their history, overtaking Rooney during his stint in 2019, and the move represents a chance for the Belgian to find his scoring boots again.
Pardew made a big howler with the striker, but Vieira looks much more assured in the transfer market compared to the Englishman and Palace might reap the rewards over the next few seasons.