Benteke Backed By Hodgson To Rediscover Form

Benteke Backed By Hodgson To Rediscover Form

Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace will do everything they can to give Christian Benteke the encouragement he needs to rediscover his form in front of goal. The Belgium international moved to Selhurst Park from Liverpool in August 2016 for a fee of £27million and was a big hit in his first season, scoring 17 times in all competitions.

But the goals have dried up for Benteke since that successful debut campaign. He has only scored on four occasions since the 2016-17 season ended and a missed another key chance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves in the Premier League.

Jeffrey Schlupp, who later failed to take an equally excellent opportunity, found the forward in the box and he cut inside but fired straight at Rui Patricio in the 78th minute. Then, in stoppage time, Diogo Jota cancelled out Leander Dendoncker’s own goal to give the visitors a share of the spoils.

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Benteke made his name in England at Aston Villa, where he scored almost a goal every two games – 49 in 101 appearances. That prompted Liverpool to pay £32.5million for his signature, but, despite scoring 10 goals in 2015-16, he was allowed to depart because he didn’t fit in with Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.

His poor run in the past two seasons is a worry, but Hodgson clearly believes that he can get Benteke back to his best. The former England boss suggests “encouragement” and plenty of hard work on the training ground will turn things in his favour.

Hodgson added: “And we try hard not to lay blame on him to any great extent, more than the blame which unfortunately will come his way from the people who watch the game who will say, ‘Why doesn’t he score those goals?’ “There’s not so much more we can do except to keep working and make sure we don’t join that band of people who are likely to bring his confidence down by talking negatively about him.”

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