Crystal Palace has been having a tough season, with the team already seeing Alan Pardew fired and Sam Allardyce take charge of the team back in December. Unfortunately for Palace fans, the “Big Sam Bounce” has not occurred this year, and Palace currently sits in the drop zone, despite the win over fellow relegation candidates Middlesbrough over the weekend. Stress starts to mount for players when they are faced with the drop, and so it is no wonder that stories of frustration are coming out of South London.
Christian Benteke was brought into Palace on a big-money transfer, with his transfer from Liverpool costing a cool £32 million. Along with everything else for the Eagles this season, it hasn’t really worked out. The Telegraph is reporting that word out of Palace is that Benteke is unhappy with his role at the club and, as Hammer fans can relate, dislikes the brand of football that Big Sam has brought to the club. It all seemed to reach a head this weekend as Middlesbrough keeper Victor Valdes had to separate Benteke from teammate Andros Townsend after the pair quarreled at the end of the match.
Crystal Palace may want to get at least £25 million back on any deal involving Benteke, and West Ham United was said to be interested in Benteke before his move to Palace last summer. Could West Ham revive interest in the Belgian? Possibly, with the striker position still not totally settled at the London Stadium, with Andy Carroll being hurt yet again and Jonathan Calleri and Ashley Fletcher both not starting in Carroll’s absence.
However, The Telegraph suggests that Carroll would have to be off to China in a big money move to raise the funds to buy Benteke, and while Benteke has been more fit than Carroll in the past couple of seasons, Benteke is still four years removed from his 19 goal season for Aston Villa.
Of course, if Crystal Palace is relegated this season, there could be a fire sale in South London, in which case Benteke could be grabbed at a bargain price. Otherwise, selling Carroll to buy Benteke would seem foolish. At least with Carroll, West Ham know the player and his issues with injury. Selling one injury prone striker to bring in one who hasn’t played more than 30 Premier League games in four seasons isn’t the best business decision. If Benteke is brought in to play with Carroll and fill in when Carroll is out, it would be a good idea, otherwise West Ham should just concentrate on getting an up-and-coming striker, not a retread from a team that hasn’t played great all season.