Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed to reporters that Christian Benteke is not for sale.
What’s the latest?
The Belgium international signed for the Eagles just five months ago in a transfer from Liverpool thought to be worth around £30m.
The Mirror reported earlier this week, though, that he could be forced out of the door by manager Sam Allardyce.
It was claimed by the publication that ‘Big Sam’ was considering offloading the striker in order to raise funds for further January spending.
The 62-year-old, who replaced sacked Alan Pardew as manager on December 23, has quashed those rumours, insisting that Benteke is very much part of his squad.
Allardyce was quoted by BBC Sport telling reporters:
“Unless the chairman knows any different from me, Christian Benteke is not for sale.
“Never say never but at the moment he is a Crystal Palace player. I am planning on him being here at the end of the window. He has a major part to play.”
Should Palace give Benteke a chance?
Of course! The 26-year-old has only been at Selhurst Park a matter of months, and while he may not be the most prolific of goalscorers, he has netted eight times in 18 Premier League appearances.
The striker is likely to have been suffering with a lack of confidence when he signed for the Eagles following a dismal spell at Liverpool.
Benteke scored just nine goals in 29 run-outs in the top flight in his one and only season on Merseyside.
The striker was bought by Brendan Rodgers, but Jurgen Klopp took the reins in October 2015, and when there is a managerial change mid-season, it is always a potential worry for players.
More than half of Benteke’s league appearances came from the substitutes bench, so he would have been hoping for a new lease of life at Palace.
The Eagles are struggling in the bottom half of the table as they currently sit one point above the relegation zone after winning just four out of 20.
Benteke is the team’s top scorer and considering that there is not a wealth of top strikers at Allardyce’s disposal, it would have been a strange move to get rid of the club’s summer signing so soon.