Christian Benteke struggling at Palace
On Saturday lunchtime, Crystal Palace suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Liverpool. In fairness, the Reds were rather fortunate to escape Selhurst Park with the win, as Jurgen Kloppa��s side needed an 84th-minute winner from Egyptian star Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool were not in the game the first half. However, they got the bit between the teeth in the second half to grab the win. It all could have been so different had former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke converted two good opportunities for the Eagles after Sadio Mane had scored an equaliser in the second half. The misses summed up the strikers season, though, as he never looked like scoring with either effort.
Benteke has enjoyed mixed fortunes
The Belgium international striker looked such a threat at times during his days at Aston Villa. On his day, he could bully defenders out of games and most found him a nightmare to play against.
The striker was a very good focal point of a mediocre Villa team at times during his spell in Birmingham. It could be argued his goals kept Villa afloat in the Premier League prior to his big money move to Liverpool for A?32million.
Things failed to work out for big Ben in his only season on Merseyside. He then moved to Palace in 2016 for an initial fee of A?27m, rising to A?32million with add-ons. The signing was ambitious and seen as a coup for the Eagles.
Last season was his first with the Eagles and his eventual return of 15 Premier League goals helped his side to avoid relegation.
Struggled for goals this season
Benteke has suffered injury problems this season. However, his record of just two goals in 26 Premier League appearances is a poor one. The 27-year-old should be the main attacking threat for the Eagles.
Instead, he looks like he would struggle to score goals in non-league. The striker has all the attributes to score bags full of goals in the Premier League. He is big, strong and he is very strong in the air, all attributes that can work well in the English top-flight, while not being lightning quick, he is not slow either.
At Palace, he also has a decent supply line in the likes of wingers Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha, who have been creating chances for the striker. Unfortunately, he has been missing them on a regular basis.
At the moment he is playing like a striker very low on confidence. Omission from the latest Belgian squad will not do much for the strikera��s confidence. However, his recent goalscoring record and performances have not been worthy of an international call-up.
Palace needs Benteke to start scoring goals
Crystal Palace are just two points clear of the relegation zone, having played a game more than 18thplace Southampton.A�The Eagles are now odds of 7/1 to suffer relegation this season.
Roy Hodgsona��s side looked doomed to relegation for the first couple of months of the season. However, they dragged themselves out of trouble, with very little assistance from their star striker.
If Palace are to move away from the drop zone then Benteke needs to start scoring goals for the London side. Not only could Palacea��s survival depend on the striker hitting form, but also Bentekea��s place at this summera��s World Cup.
Christian Benteke is a far better striker than what he has shown this season. For whatever reason, he has experienced a nightmare campaign in front of goal. He scored the goals when it mattered most last season for Palace. Everybody connected with the club will be hoping he can rediscover that hot form in the last few months of the season.
Why has Christian Benteke struggled to score goals this season?