In Focus: Everton may struggle to sign Christian Benteke as Chelsea hover

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Everton are keen to sign Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke if they fail to complete a deal for Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, although they could face competition for the Belgian from Premier League champions Chelsea.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Toffees are hoping to bring Giroud to Goodison Park as Romelu Lukaku’s replacement after the 24-year-old completed his move to Manchester United on Monday, but The Mirror says Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has hinted that the France international won’t be allowed to leave the club this summer.

Giroud is in Australia with Arsenal as part of the pre-season preparations, meaning Everton could instead turn their attentions to Eagles striker Benteke, according to the Daily Mail.

They could face a battle to sign the 26-year-old though, with Palace not wanting to sell the player they signed in a club-record £27m deal last summer, while the Daily Mail also says that Chelsea are keen on the Belgian having missed out on Lukaku.

How did Benteke do in his first Palace season?

The tall striker was one of the main reasons why the Eagles narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship as he scored 15 goals and provided a further two assists in 36 Premier League appearances.

Considering the south London outfit were struggling for the majority of the campaign, it was an impressive return for the Belgian centre-forward and mirrored his form for Aston Villa when they were struggling at the wrong end of the table during his time with the Midlands club.

Would he be a good signing for Everton and Chelsea?

He probably would be, but more likely a better addition for the former as a starter.

His goalscoring form and threat in the air especially mean that he is ideally suited to the Premier League and he has shown that he can regularly find the net at this level.

However, the two clubs may have some reservations due to his spell with Liverpool, where he scored 10 goals in 42 outings in all competitions before being sold to Palace.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, there is no doubt that Benteke could do a job for Everton as Romelu Lukaku’s replacement, but he would surely be more of a back-up player for Chelsea, rather than their first-choice option as they look to retain their Premier League title and have a real crack at the Champions League.