Liverpool should quench Palace’s thirst for a big-money striker
Having seen an audacious bid for Marseille and Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi rendered obsolete by Chelsea in recent days, the latest piece of gossip concerning Crystal Palace is more expected.
Liverpool have what Palace so obviously crave; a big-name striker capable of solving the chronic shortage of goals at Selhurst Park that ended up jeopardising their Premier League status in 2015/16.
The Eagles have apparently turned their transfer-market attentions to Christian Benteke in the wake of Batshuyai’s snub.
It’s a potential move that makes an enormous amount of sense. Despite Benteke costing the Reds a bomb at £32.5m just last summer, doubts the Belgian would fit into Jurgen Klopp’s plans once the German took over from Brendan Rodgers in October, were quickly realised.
Benteke was starved of minutes under Klopp, reduced to cameos for the most part and now Liverpool have just announced the signing of Southampton forward Sadio Mane for a similarly hefty fee, offloading the former Aston Villa man now seems a book-balancing necessity.
Alan Pardew’s beaten FA Cup finalists clearly have the funds in place to make such a purchase and although the Reds supposedly wish to hold out for £30m, dropping the price tag by a few million could be a more sensible approach.
If the guy in the car showroom is waving around a wallet full of notes, then it makes sense to get the deal done there and then.
The Belgian international scored nine times in 29 Liverpool appearances last season, though only 14 of those outings were starts.
Crucially for the south Londoners and any other suitors, Benteke did at least avoid any of the serious injuries which have plagued his career in the campaign just gone.
Given Palace’s preference to play with authentic wingers under Pardew, an aerial threat like Benteke should in theory find the kind of service to thrive on.
The good news for the Eagles is that Marc Wilmots’ reluctance to play the centre-forward at Euro 2016 will drive down any inflation the transfer fee that tournaments often provide.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.