Crystal Palace news: £8.1m star has turned career around in last 12 months

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Journalist Tom Barclay thinks that Christian Benteke has improved his goalscoring record over the last 12 months.

What do the stats say about Benteke?

The Belgian striker scored an impressive 15 Premier League goals in his first season at Selhurst Park following his £28m move from Liverpool in 2016.

However, Benteke would just strike six times in the next three seasons combined in 71 outings.

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But the 30-year-old rediscovered his goal-touch last season, reaching double figures in the top-flight for the fifth time in his career, scoring 10 goals in 30 matches.

Benteke, valued at £8.1m by Transfermarkt, ended the campaign by netting in each of his final four outings, including against Arsenal and was rewarded for his impressive form with a new two-year deal.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

His struggles in front of goal returned in the early parts of this season when he failed to find the net in his first seven appearances before scoring against the Gunners once again and then Newcastle and was perhaps unfortunate not to score another in the 1-1 draw with the Magpies.

In total, Benteke has scored 12 league goals since the beginning of last season and Barclay has noticed the frontman's improvements over the last 12 months.

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What did Barclay say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "In the last year or so, he's looked like a decent goalscorer, not a bad one and someone who offers a lot more to their game than just scoring goals."

Is Benteke Palace's first-choice striker?

Despite starting more than half of Palace's 10 Premier League games this term, Benteke is far from a guaranteed starter under Patrick Vieira.

Even on the back of scoring twice, he was dropped from the side against Manchester City on Saturday and replaced by the returning Wilfried Zaha.

In the two games before the victory at City, Benteke started as the lone striker, with Odsonne Edouard coming in from the left, but made way for Palace's returning talisman. 

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What shirt number does Christian Benteke wear for Crystal Palace?

But when everyone is fit and available, Edouard, who's started the last five league matches, is likely to be Vieira's preferred option through the middle, leaving Benteke as an impact player.

However, Edouard's ability to play out wide could benefit the Belgium international in the future, because his current chances of starting moving forward would appear slim.

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