Bad news for Benteke: Crystal Palace watching Colombian hitman Duvan Zapata

According to respected journalist Paul Nixon, Crystal Palace are watching Sampdoria striker Duvan Zapata – who is currently on a two-year loan deal with Atalanta – in case Christian Benteke leaves.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Eagles are supposedly keen on signing the Colombian marksman, who has hit an impressive 27 goals and recorded eight assists in all competitions this season.

Zapata would seriously improve a strike force consisting of the ineffective Christian Benteke and the crocked Connor Wickham, whilst on-loan forwards Jordan Ayew and Michy Batshuayi will return to Swansea and Chelsea respectively.

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Roy Hodgson’s striking department will look thin on the ground when those two depart Selhurst Park, so he is desperately in need of reinforcements.

He should be signed even if Benteke doesn’t leave

The Belgian international has managed to score just four league goals across the last two seasons for Palace – including just one last term – which is astonishingly poor for someone who the club is paying a reported £120,000-a-week to.

In stark contrast, Zapata has netted 38 goals over the same period, putting Benteke’s record to shame.

Palace finished just eight points off Europa League qualification despite having a largely underwhelming start to the season, with their dismal home record being the main factor behind them not amassing more points.

They haven’t been too bad at Selhurst Park however, dominating most teams but not having anyone up top to put their many chances created in the back of the net – in the 0-0 draw with Cardiff, Palace had a staggering 31 shots, but just 5 on target.

If Benteke stays at Selhurst Park as a valued first-team striker, his terrible run of form and poor injury record would probably see the same problems repeated next season, which would be extremely frustrating for the south Londoners seeing as they know they could do a lot better.

Regardless of the Belgian’s future with the Eagles, Zapata represents an essential upgrade at centre-forward.

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