The Crystal Palace fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling nervous ahead of their season-defining clash against Watford on Saturday, but recent reports regarding Christian Benteke have given them reason to be optimistic for the future.
Roy Hodgson takes his side to Vicarage Road this weekend with the knowledge that a victory over the Hornets would push them agonisingly close to securing their survival this season. Considering how well Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend have played together at centre-forward during Palace’s last two outings, it’s no surprise that the supporters are eager to see Hodgson select the aforementioned pairing once again this weekend.
Hodgson has needed to be pragmatic with his team selection since all of his available strikers were ruled out through injury, but in the absence of Christian Benteke (valued at £19.8 million by Transfermarkt) his side have looked considerably more menacing in the final-third. The mobility offered by the quick and agile pairing of Zaha and Townsend has proven to be a useful weapon, and the new-look side have managed to take 4 points from their last two fixtures as a consequence.
And according to recent reports from the Daily Mail, the events which have unfolded during the last fortnight have convinced Roy Hodgson that he is ready to offload Christian Benteke this summer. The Belgian international has been lacklustre and wasteful for the entirety of the season so far, but Hodgson has continue to persist with him due to a lack of quality options in his position.
However, now that Hodgson has discovered a winning formula with Townsend and Zaha upfront, there’s no reason why he should opt to give Benteke any more opportunities to prove himself. Benteke has been given opportunity after opportunity to prove he can be a prolific striker for the Eagles, but he has failed to repay his manager for the faith he has shown in him thus far.
The decision to sell Benteke this summer is certainly a wise one, as the club cannot afford to risk enduring another season with the 27-year-old at the spearhead of their attack.
It’s been an unfortunate and saddening demise for a player who was so prolific when he made his name at Aston Villa during his first stint in English football, but he looks a shadow of the player he was back then, so Palace should do everything they can to offload him this summer.
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