Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke could be set to leave Selhurst Park in the upcoming January transfer window in a bid to boost his chances of making Belgium’s Euro 2020 squad.
The 28-year-old joined Palace from Liverpool in a club-record move in August 2016 but has found regular first-team football hard to come by in recent months as his form has suffered. The former Aston Villa forward has amassed only 267 minutes in the Premier League so far in the 2019/20 season and has yet to find the back of the net.
The Belgium international has only scored one goal since the start of the 2018/19 season – coming in a 3-2 victory over Arsenal in April – but was rewarded with a contract extension in October 2019 in order to protect his transfer market value as one of Palace’s highest earners.
Instead, Jordan Ayew has often been preferred for the Eagles, while Benteke – who has 70 Premier League goals in his career – has been left sidelined.
Despite his limited outings as a club footballer, Benteke still features semi-regularly for Belgium and scored twice against Cyprus in the Euro 2020 qualifiers over the international break.
In an interview with La Derniere Heure, the striker that he could leave the Eagles in an attempt to find more regular first-team opportunities.
“Playing for your club is always different from the national team. I hope the Cyprus game will give me my confidence back and give me the chance to score for Palace,” Benteke told the French publication.
“But I also have to think about the January transfer window. I will give it some thought and I’ll see what can be done. It is important to have playing time for your club, but what you do on national duty is also important.
“I really want to play at Euro 2020. I work like a madman every day with that target in mind”.
Benteke faces strong national team competition from strikers such as Liverpool’s Divock Origi, Internazionale’s Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi and Napoli’s Dries Mertens.
Crystal Palace look set for a busy January transfer window as they are reportedly looking to sign up to three players, with Hodgson desperately looking to ease the workload of players like Ayew and Wilfried Zaha by adding further offensive reinforcements.
Crystal Palace return to Premier League action as they host league leaders Liverpool on Saturday before travelling to Turf Moor to face a tough Burnley side a week later.