With the European transfer window and EFL loan window slamming shut imminently, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson will be feeling the pressure to sort out any potential outgoings as soon as possible.
It’s been a mixed start to the Premier League for the Eagles, overcoming Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage, before losing 2-0 at Selhurst Park to Liverpool.
Palace left their transfer business late, but achieved some good signings, bringing in the likes of German 22-year-old Max Meyer, and Swansea City frontman Jordan Ayew on a loan-deal.
In their first game of the season, the Eagles played exemplary counter-attacking football. Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp on the scoresheet as the South London outfit overcame Fulham with relative ease. The second test came in a much tougher game against Liverpool, who are free-scoring under Jurgen Klopp. Palace didn’t play particularly poorly in this game, but it exposed weaknesses which need to be fixed.
With that in mind, if these two Crystal Palace players fail to show what they can do soon, Roy Hodgson must look to sell them imminently…
When Palace have Alexander Sorloth, who is an excellent hold-up player on the bench, Benteke needs to find his scoring boots to justify his place in the side. Sorloth has excellent pace, and his hold-up play is arguably even better than the big Belgian’s. Surely the Norwegian deserves to start ahead of Benteke.
His finishing against Liverpool was desperately poor, and he was provided plenty of chances, particularly by Wilfried Zaha. Benteke scored just three Premier League goals last season, showing his powers are definitely on the wane.
If he doesn’t find the net at least a few times in training, he needs to be sold.
The 32-year-old has lost a lot of his fitness after injury problems. With the standard of player at Crystal Palace now, Jason Puncheon is going to have to prove he still has the standard of performance necessary in the Premier League if he is to prove he shouldn’t be sold in January.
If he doesn’t impress, Roy Hodgson certainly has a decision to make regarding Puncheon’s future in Croydon.