Following a season in which Christian Benteke struggled to settle at Liverpool, Crystal Palace entered the transfer market and secured the signature of the towering centre-forward for an undisclosed fee.
Benteke had established a fantastic reputation for his commanding aerial presence during his stint with Aston Villa but he was unable to emulate his form with the Reds.
His move to Palace was widely regarded as the transfer which would enable Benteke to rediscover his clinical goal-scoring touch and the Palace supporters were understandably delighted by the news.
— CPFC HQ (@CPFCHQ) August 20, 2016
what a great birthday present thanks @CEO4TAG
— Paul Towns (@tonytowns80) August 20, 2016
Brilliant. Well done Palace. Welcome @chrisbenteke
— Patrick Doyle (@PatrickIDSDoyle) August 20, 2016
— Craig Potter (@cpotter17) August 20, 2016
— SB (@PalaceSteve_) August 20, 2016
— Tochukwu Suarez (@trashblockers) August 20, 2016
— Jack Watson (@JackWatsonSport) August 20, 2016
But fast-forward two years and Benteke is no longer the hero he was once regarded by the Palace supporters – far from it. Benteke started his career with the Eagles in prolific form as he finished the 2016/17 campaign with 15 goals and 2 assists to show from 36 appearances.
His form at the spearhead of the attack enabled Palace to breach the safe haven of the 40-point mark and secure their top-flight status for another season, but his form has fallen off a cliff ever since his debut campaign drew to a close.
Palace started the 2017/18 campaign in a rut as they lost their first 7 Premier League fixtures and Benteke failed to score during that time before he picked up a knee injury.
It wasn’t until the 16th December 2017 when Palace’s centre-forward finally ended his drought away at Leicester City, but his struggle in-front of goal continued as he only managed to score 2 more goals before the season drew to a close.
Consequently, one abject season of form has caused plenty of Palace supporters to loose faith in Benteke and call for a significant change in personnel in attack.
The initial hype which surrounded Benteke’s arrival was certainly justified at the time, but such is the nature of his disappointing fall from grace that supporters will be shocked to see the contrast in opinion between August 2016 and how he is viewed more than two years later.
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