Crystal Palace fans were buoyant during the summer months in the Transfer Tavern’s beer garden as Christian Benteke moved from Liverpool to south London for a club-record fee, with one even shouting aloud that he was going to bring his pet eagle along for the party – which thankfully never happened.
Alas, the 2016/17 campaign has not really gone to plan, and even with Sam Allardyce jettisoned in to save the day following Alan Pardew’s pre-Christmas sacking, the Eagles are one of a cluster of teams in real relegation trouble, which is crazy given the quality and cost of their squad.
Benteke is, arguably, the marquee name at Selhurst Park, and one the club will undoubtedly want to build around long-term, but reports from the Telegraph have stunned some wearing red and blue at the bar, with the Belgian supposedly ready to leave the club regardless of their relegation fate.
The big-money buy was involved in a spat with team-mate Andros Townsend during the weekend win over Middlesbrough, which was eventually broken up by Boro’s goalkeeper, Victor Valdes.
The incident has since been played down by Allardyce, but the Telegraph’s report hints that this may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of Benteke’s unhappiness at Palace, with the former Aston Villa goal-getter having grown frustrated in his time at the club.
It’s understood that the player feels he’s being left isolated by Allardyce’s long-ball approach, and his one goal since the ex-Sunderland boss’ arrival does somewhat back that up.
This is not the first whisper of discontent to have emerged regarding Benteke and ‘Big Sam’, with reports from the Mirror back in January having suggested that offers for the burly ace may be considered.
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