This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
As revealed on Crystal Palace’s official website, Christian Benteke and James Tomkins have put pen to paper on contract extensions at Selhurst Park.
Benteke has signed a one-year extension on his deal, which was set to expire in the coming summer, while Tomkins’ renewal will see him tied to the south Londoners until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
While tying Tomkins down to a new deal makes perfect sense – the former West Ham man made 29 appearances last term as Palace kept the 6th-most clean sheets in the Premier League – extending Benteke’s contract does not.
Another thing that also doesn’t make much sense is what Steve Parish said after the renewals were confirmed.
The Palace supremo stated: “I’m pleased that agreements have been reached with these two important senior players. Both James and Christian bring vast Premier League experience, commitment and professionalism to the squad.
“These new deals show that we recognise their levels of performance in recent seasons, that we believe in both players, and that they are hugely motivated by the direction the club is heading.”
Out of Parish’s comments, nine words stand out – and they can only be applied to Tomkins.
“We recognise their levels of performance in recent seasons.”
In Tomkins’ case, he has fully earned his two-year extension.
As aforesaid, the 30-year-old played a huge part in what was a solid backline last term, whilst he has generally performed at a consistently good level since his £10m move from West Ham.
As a result, Parish’s comments on recognising the duo’s level of performance can be applied to the Englishman with few complaints.
However, that sentiment does not apply to Benteke.
The 28-year-old really isn’t pulling his weight at Selhurst Park, and for Parish to speak about recognising “levels of performance” seems nothing more than a nonsense soundbite when applied to Benteke.
Parish’s words are completely fair as far as Tomkins is concerned, but who knows what the Palace chairman has been looking at if he thinks Benteke’s displays deserve any form of praise.