It’s every club’s dream that the mega-money of the Chinese Super League would come knocking for one of their flopped stars in the hope of recuperating their initial investment. Crystal Palace are no different.
Big Christian Benteke was lauded as the saviour of Crystal Palace’s offensive woes when he arrived from Liverpool in a deal estimated to be worth £27m in 2016, a relatively large sum for the time (source: BBC Sport), but has since only managed a meagre 18 league goals in 74 appearances.
Certainly not what the club were expecting.
Now, with time running out on the Belgian’s contract, Palace are dangling his services in front of the big spenders. Those who have already invested in the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Paulinho, and Jose Fonte, amongst many more, for astronomical fees.
According to Belgian outlet HLN, Crystal Palace ‘secretly hope’ for a bid from Asia before their season starts at the beginning of March.
However, there’s one major sticking point: Christian Benteke reportedly doesn’t want to leave.
Despite the arrival of compatriot Michy Batshuayi, who looks set to occupy the starting spot, Benteke would sooner see out his contract at Selhurst Park than move halfway across the world to play his football in China.
Probably a fair decision from his perspective.
Naturally, his current club will be pushing to make the transfer happen, as they prepare for a more successful 2019/20 campaign, but at the end of day it’s Benteke’s choice.
On reflection, when we consider the original costs and the current returns, we’ve got to say it’s been one of the club’s worst investments in the past decade, and once he does move on they’ll be hoping to be far more calculated in their scouting activity.