Christian Benteke says ‘there were some contacts’ with other clubs before he committed his future to Crystal Palace.
He finished as Palace’s second-highest scorer in the Premier League last season, with his tally of 10 goals bettered only by Wilfried Zaha (11).
The Belgian has started two of Patrick Vieira’s four competitive matches in charge, registering an assist in the 2-2 draw with West Ham United prior to the international break.
Speaking to native publication Sport Magazine, Benteke admitted he ‘thought about’ moving on as the end of his deal approached.
Ultimately, though, he chose to stay put, in part because he’s so settled in the area.
“In January we started thinking about leaving,” he said. “Then I had a long talk with the coach [Roy Hodgson] and he told me he couldn’t guarantee that I would play 90 minutes every game, but he added that he was counting on me.
“I decided to fight back and keep working hard. And I’m glad it paid off.
“I thought about it and there were some contacts. But I have taken many factors into account. My first argument, separate from the conversation I had with the chairman, was my physical readiness.
“I also wanted to stay here for family reasons, as my children have been attending school in London for a few years now. I was happy to be able to maintain some sort of stability.”
It remains to be seen whether Benteke has made a wise decision. Palace have now brought in fresh blood up front in the form of £14million Odsonne Edouard.
Significantly, he’s believed to be better suited to Vieira’s preferred style of play.
Benteke may now find starting opportunities hard to come by and be forced to settle for cameos from the bench. The manager could look to him to ask different questions of defenders if plan-A doesn’t come off.
In other news, Palace wanted to sign this defender in the summer.
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