West Brom in transfer talks over potential striker deal - The Verdict

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke

West Brom are in transfer talks with Crystal Palace over a potential mid-season move for Christian Benteke, according to Sky Sports.

It's been a tough few years for the Belgium international in front of goal, having managed just nine Premier League strikes since a return of 15 in the top flight during his debut season at Selhurst Park. 

Nonetheless, three for this season actually represents his best scoring run in that time period, and it's clear the Baggies are in need of extra firepower with only Sheffield United and Burnley netting less than them so far this season. 

Sam Allardyce has since come out and poured doubts over the likelihood of West Brom signing Benteke this month, while also admitting he would be interested in bringing him to the Hawthorns if he were definitely available. 

But is Benteke the right striker to bring West Brom out of relegation bother, or should the Midlands club be looking elsewhere this month? 

GIVEMESPORT writers Jonathan Gorrie, Jack Saville and Christy Malyan provide their verdicts below...

Jonathan Gorrie

"What West Brom desperately need is goals and, at this stage of his career, Benteke does little to provide them.

"While a mobile battering ram of a centre-forward during his 22-game stint under Allardyce's watch at Crystal Palace, Benteke has suffered major injuries since and his struggles in front of goal have been well-documented.

"It's not just his lack of goals, either. Indeed, since working together in the 2016/17 season, Benteke is only winning half as many aerial duels per game now as he was then (9 to 4.5 via WhoScored) as well as averaging fewer shots (2.9 to 2.2) over the same period.

"Frankly, he just isn't the player he was and, with the situation rather dire at West Brom right now, relying on the Belgian would be a huge, huge risk."

Jack Saville

"Benteke is the epitome of a Big Sam signing but that doesn't make him right for West Bromwich Albion.

"The Belgian striker has been hopelessly out of form since he managed to bag 15 Premier League goals in the 2016/17 season, scoring just nine times in 84 league appearances ever since.

"That doesn't bode well for a potential suitor and, particularly given the precarious situation the Baggies currently find themselves in, the 6 foot 3 striker simply isn't worth the gamble following such a prolonged dry spell in front of goal." 

1 of 30
Juan Cuadrado in action for Chelsea

How much did Chelsea pay for Juan Cuadrado in February 2015?

Christy Malyan

"Sure, Benteke's scoring record might be a little off-putting but there's a few things worth remembering here, chiefly that strikers in Allardyce's system don't need to be a constant source of goals - just look at Kevin Davies, who scored just 35 goals in 160 appearances under Allardyce and yet was one of the first names on the Bolton team-sheet.

"It's more important that they can use their height and power to win territory high up the pitch, whether by causing problems in open play or winning set pieces in dangerous areas, and Benteke is certainly more than capable of doing that. 

"The other factor to bear in mind his how new surroundings can quickly change a player's mindset. It can't be easy for Benteke at Palace, knowing he's not the player he once was and no doubt aware that a lot of fans have lost their faith in him. 

"Moving to the Hawthorns gets rid of some of that baggage, offering Benteke a fresh start and a new set of supporters he can be a hero for. And the fact Allardyce has worked with him before only enhances Benteke's chances of winning fans and team-mates over at West Brom. 

"So, in short, would he be a good signing for the Baggies? He'd be a decent acquisition even without his goals, so with the potential for Allardyce to restoke his scoring fires added on top, I think he's got all the makings of an inspired addition." 

News Now - Sport News