What was said?
After signing his extension, Benteke said: “I am happy and proud to entrust my future to Crystal Palace. Five years already and still a lot to come. We have a great group of players and staff, and I look forward to the season ahead and playing in front of our fans again.
Palace President Steve Parish added: “Christian has been an integral part of consolidating our position as an established Premier League club over the past five years. He is an exceptional professional and he has more than proven that he still has the quality and thirst to play for our club at the highest level, and I couldn’t be happier to see him in red and blue for two more. seasons.
Why is Palace extending Benteke’s stay?
Benteke may have struggled to score goals over the past three seasons but, as a focal point of Palace’s frontline, he rallied from the moment he stole the unlikely winner of his team in stoppage time at Brighton in February.
He has managed seven games in 13 games, a form more reminiscent of his first season in south London in 2016-17 after his £ 27million transfer from Liverpool.
The ankle injury ruled him out of the final game of the season at Anfield, but he finished with 10 of 21 top-tier starts, four more than the last three seasons combined.
Was there an interest from elsewhere in the Belgian?
Turkish Super Lig champions Besiktas investigated in January when Palace could have been more prepared to listen to the striker’s offers, but the player had no interest in leaving London.
His family is settled in the area and he was content to see his contract and consider his options.
Interim interest from rival English clubs, as well as suitors across Europe, has surfaced in recent weeks as the player’s form improved, but the player was still keen to stay.
Has the striker suffered a pay cut?
It’s not clear. Palace is trying to cut its payroll this summer and has a number of high income senior players without contracts.
However, their hopes of extending Benteke’s stay on significantly reduced terms may have been thwarted by the player’s ongoing end to the campaign.
Either way, in a summer of turmoil at Selhurst Park, keeping the player would be a more profitable solution than signing a striker from elsewhere.
Will others follow Benteke’s example?
Palace have 12 senior players out of contract at the end of June and expect Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, Connor Wickham, Wayne Hennessey and James McCarthy to leave.
However, the club were keen to speak to the squad at the end of the season to explain that they need to speak with Roy Hodgson’s successor – the search for a new manager is underway – before new contract offers are made. are proposed. .
Andros Townsend, Gary Cahill and Joel Ward are expected to be offered terms to stay at the club.
(Photo: Justin Setterfield / Getty Images)