Selhurst Park latest news: Crystal Palace's 2021 contract decision 'raised eyebrows'

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish

Journalist Tom Barclay believes that Crystal Palace’s decision to hand Christian Benteke a new contract raised eyebrows at the time but has since been justified.

The 31-year-old signed a two-year extension back in June after he reached the end of his previous deal.

How has Christian Benteke performed since signing his new contract?

Benteke has had some difficult periods during his time at Palace. In the 2019/20 season, the Belgian forward only managed to score twice.

The campaign prior was also one to forget, with Benteke managing just the one goal in 16 Premier League games. 

This term, though, he has been much better in front of goal, already surpassing his tally from those two seasons combined, while his record, 10 goals in 30 games, in 2020/21 makes for much better reading too.

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With four goals against Arsenal, Newcastle United and Burnley in the Premier League so far, Benteke has been fairly good since putting pen to paper on that extension. 

What has Tom Barclay said about Christian Benteke?

Given some of those lacklustre seasons, Barclay believes the Palace board’s decision to hand Benteke a new contract raised eyebrows. However, according to The Sun journalist, that decision has now been justified.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Barclay said: “I think from a Palace point of view, when he signed a new contract, I think there were a few eyebrows raised. But he’s already probably justified that new deal.”

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Will Christian Benteke remain as Crystal Palace’s first-choice No.9?

As things stand, it looks like Benteke is indeed Patrick Vieira’s first choice for that striker position after making 15 Premier League appearances there this season.

However, the Belgium international does look to have some serious competition in Odsonne Edouard. 

Edouard, who joined from Celtic during the summer, has played on the left at times but is a centre-forward by trade. 

The Frenchman has already come up with some big goals for Palace in his debut season at Selhurst Park, netting in London derbies against Tottenham and Arsenal. 23 years of age, you would expect him to eventually become the Eagles’ leading man. 

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For now, though, Benteke appears to have that role, with Edouard having to play deputy. From Vieira’s point of view, he will be hoping that competition can bring the best out of his two players.

Palace have lost their last three games against Manchester United, Leeds United and Aston Villa, managing just the one goal during that run, so the 45-year-old needs the duo firing again to get the team out of this mini slump.

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