Christian Benteke is finally a Crystal Palace player.
The Belgian international signed a four-year contract with the Eagles on Saturday ahead of their game at Tottenham Hotspur (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on Premier League Extratime and online via NBC Sports) although he will not be available for selection.
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Benteke, 25, signs for Palace from Liverpool following a protracted transfer saga where the Anfield club demanded at least $35 million up front with the other $6.5 million in add-ons.
That fee makes Benteke Palace’s record signing and new American owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have stumped up the cash to capture a powerful, dangerous goalscorer who will slot perfectly into Palace’s side.
Speaking about his move to Palace, Benteke seemed delighted to finally seal the move.
There’s not doubt this is a huge signing for Palace.
With Yohan Cabaye in a playmaking role, wingers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend able to supply Benteke with plenty of service and a solid defensive unit, the main area the Eagles have been lacking in is up front. Last season their strikers combined for nine PL goals between them, while Benteke scored nine for Liverpool despite his stop-start season.
Now Pardew has his $41.5 million man and someone who is a prove goalscorer in the Premier League. Not having someone to finish off chances has been the main reason the 2015-16 FA Cup runners up haven’t taken the next step into a team challenging for European qualification. In order to get Benteke in Palace have sold Yannick Bolasie to Everton and Mile Jedinak to Crystal Palace but you get the sense the Eagles are much stronger due to the business they’ve done in the past week.
For Benteke, his record speaks for itself. At Aston Villa he scored 42 PL goals in 89 outings yet after signing for Liverpool for approximately $42.5 million last summer under Brendan Rodgers, he fell out of favor under Jurgen Klopp.
Now Benteke has a chance to be the main man at Palace as the ambitious south London club aim for at least a top 10 finish.