Christian Benteke made the headlines during the summer transfer window due to a huge £32m transfer to Crystal Palace, however people had mixed opinions on it. The vast majority of Palace fans rejoiced at finally having a prolific, world class striker at the club and praised Eagles manager Alan Pardew and club chairman Steve Parish for tempting such a big name to Selhurst Park. But many Premier League fans questioned the huge price tag we paid for him after an average season at Liverpool. After 3 goals in 8 games Benteke has won over all of the Red and Blue Army and this article is all about why we’ve fallen in love with him so quickly.
He Scores Goals
I know that might seem like an obvious statement, but goals were hard to come by last year at SE25. Our top goalscorers were Yannick Bolasie, Connor Wickham and Yohan Cabaye with 5 goals apiece and our best scoring striker was Dwight Gayle with 7 goals, however 3 of those goals came from a hat-trick against Charlton Athletic in the league cup so do they really count? The lack of goals in our side was worrying, every now and again Wickham would show just how good he can be with a fantastic performance but one of those fantastic performances were usually followed by an injury, most of Cabaye’s goals came from the penalty spot and over the summer Bolasie moved to Everton and Gayle took a step down to the Championship with the former Premier League whipping boys Newcastle United so the fact we now have a man we can rely on for consistent goals is a huge relief. He kept Aston Villa in the Premier League almost single-handedly for two consecutive seasons, so hopefully over the course of the season his goals will propel us up the table.
He’s Better Than Glenn Murray
For non-Palace fans reading this, that statement may seem a weird but it’s true. Glenn Murray is and always will be a cult hero at Crystal Palace. His 44 goals in 81 appearances got us into the Premier League and helped us stay there (for now) so he is a huge part of our history. One of the most emotional moments of our current Premier League spell was when Murray returned from a horrific, long-term ACL injury that ruled him out for the majority of our first season back in the big time. Murray gave us so many treasured memories during his 4 year spell with the club, so when he left for Bournemouth all the strikers we had were in his shadow. Frazier Campbell and Patrick Bamford were clearly Championship level players, Emmanuel Adebayor was a bit of an enigma while he was with us and Wickham looked like the man brought in to fill Murray’s boots, however he still hasn’t while Dwight Gayle never got his opportunity to impress in the league. The signing of Christian Benteke represents us finally moving on from the Murray era, a year after he left, he’s a huge upgrade to the best striker we’ve had since Andy Johnson. While most Palace fans still love Murray, our team isn’t worse off without him anymore.
He Represents How Far We’ve Come
If you’d of told anybody associated with Crystal Palace Football Club in 2010 that in 6 years time we’d be spending £32m on one of the best strikers the Premier League has seen this decade, they’d of deemed you criminally insane and rightfully so. I remember when we had 10 points deducted and we’re saved from liquidation at the last minute by the consortium CPFC2010, and we stayed away from League One by 1 point thanks to a draw against Sheffield Wednesday in the 2009/2010 season, so the signing of Benteke represents how much we’ve grown as a football club. We’ve evolved massively as a football club over the last 6 years and Benteke shows that we’re still evolving and there’s even brighter things to come.He gives us hope, and reminds of a time when we were at rock bottom.
So those are the 3 main reasons that Palace fans all over the world idolise Christian Benteke, thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this feel free to read any other articles on The Football Forecast and have a look at my personal blog www.5minutesofaddedtime.com as well.
Featured Image Credit: jeffwarder