A Reward for Excellent Season as Christian Benteke Agrees New Deal With Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke has been rewarded for his excellent form this season with a new two-year deal with Crystal Palace, the club have confirmed.

The Belgian forward was out of contract this summer and looked set to leave, but will now stay at Selhurst Park until 2023.

Crystal Palace Agree New Deal With Christian Benteke

Resurgent Season

The Belgian enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence this season; he scored 10 goals in the Premier League and returned to being the club’s first-choice striker.

Injury and horrific form has hampered the 30-year-old’s last three seasons in South London following a 17-goal debut season. Benteke’s confidence was shot to pieces as he struggled to find the back of the net.

Heading into this season it did not look like he was going to be a frequent member of the starting line-up and could have departed the club last summer.

However, the 30-year-old has enjoyed a terrific season. He was thrust into the starting line-up for the first time at the beginning of December in a 5-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion, and two goals that afternoon set the target for the rest of the season.

Benteke’s form in front of goal has been particularly noticeable towards the end of the season. He registered four goals in the last four games of the season, culminating in a record of eight goals in his last 14 games.

What Was Said?

Speaking about his new deal to the club website, Benteke said: “I’m happy and proud to commit my future to Crystal Palace. Five years already and still a lot more to come.

“We have a great group of players and staff, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead and playing in front of our fans again.”

Steve Parish, the club Chairman, said: “Christian has been an integral part of consolidating our position as an established Premier League club over the last five years.

“He is an outstanding professional and has more than proven that he still has the quality and the hunger to perform for our club at the highest level, and I couldn’t be happier to see him in red and blue for another two seasons.”

Play to His Strengths

The biggest problem for Benteke has been that the Eagles have not played to his strengths.

Former manager Roy Hodgson tended to opt for industrious and hardworking strikers in attack, and while Jordan Ayew reaped the benefits of that during the 2019/20 season, Benteke should be the first-choice striker moving forward.

His link-up play last season was highlighted frequently. Benteke became an important component in an attack alongside Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze, bringing the pair into play and holding the ball up while they made runs in behind.

While that front line may look very different next season – Eberechi Eze is set to be out until the end of the year, and Wilfried Zaha may leave the club – the new manager should look to play to Benteke’s strengths. Playing to his strengths will allow him to return to the form of his first season at Selhurst Park.

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