Crystal Palace

Athletic reporter surprised at Christian Benteke’s new Crystal Palace contract

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The Athletic journalist Matt Woosnam admits he was shocked when it was confirmed Christian Benteke has been handed a new deal at Crystal Palace.

Benteke’s Palace contract was due to expire at the end of June but the frontman was handed a new two-year deal in June.

It came after Benteke scored in all of his final four Premier League outings last season.

Did Christian Benteke deserve a new Crystal Palace deal?

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Yes

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The 30-year-old’s impressive end to the campaign resulted in being included in Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad for Euro 2020, where he made one substitute appearance in the group stage.

Despite Benteke’s upturn in form towards the end of last term, he has scored just 33 goals in 146 appearances since joining Palace from Premier League rivals Liverpool for a club record £27 million fee five years ago.

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Although Woosnam believes more is to come from Benteke under Patrick Vieira, who replaced in the Selhurst Park dugout last month, he did not necessarily expect the striker to extend his stay with the Eagles.

He told TIF: “It perhaps was a bit of surprise. But, at the same time, you’ve got a player who you know can score goals and has done it before. I think that he’s a really good player still.”

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