This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
According to Riafan, Crystal Palace sent representatives to watch Artem Dzyuba play up top for Russia in their UEFA European Championship qualifying win over Scotland, a game in which Dzyuba scored.
However, the dominant forward would not be a good signing for the Eagles.
Christian Benteke has failed significantly since Roy Hodgson replaced Frank de Boer in the Selhurst Park hotseat.
The reason behind Benteke’s record of just four goals in his last 54 games under Hodgson is a simple one: the Eagles simply don’t cross the ball as much as they used to, specifically the season under Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce in which the Belgian netted 17 goals.
Palace delivered the second-most crosses in the league in that 2016/17 campaign with 23 per game, whereas they have slipped much further down the crossing table under Hodgson with just 15 delivered per game last term.
Benteke is a 6-foot-3 powerhouse of a striker who tends not to be too effective with the ball at his feet – from his four goals scored under Hodgson, two have been headers and the other two have been penalties.
Whilst Benteke is tall and lanky, he isn’t as long as Dzyuba – the 31-year-old with 132 career goals stands at an eye-catching 6 ft 5.
Given his height, and the fact that aerial duels are an area of his game in which he is “very strong” at according to WhoScored, you could easily argue the case of Dzyuba also finding life in Hodgson’s system tough were he to make the move to south London.
Benteke, once a prolific striker, has become a laughing stock at Palace due to his awful goal record in Hodgson’s system, and one can safely presume that the powerful Russian forward would fall into the same trap.