Chelsea have reportedly set their sights on Christian Benteke, and are weighing up a move a January move for the Crystal Palace striker.
According to a report in TransferMarketWeb, Antonio Conte is desperate to sign a reliable backup striker for his squad, with Michy Batshuayi failing to impress. The Chelsea boss is, thus, considering a swoop for Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke for the winter transfer window.
Benteke joined Crystal Palace from Liverpool last summer after struggling to be a consistent contributor for the Reds – he could only find the back of the net 10 times in 42 appearances.
At Selhurst Park though, the Belgian striker went a long way towards rediscovering the form that had made him highly sought-after in the transfer market. Last season, Benteke enjoyed a highly productive Premier League campaign, as he scored 15 goals in 36 outings, playing a pivotal role in helping Palace avoid relegation.
However, his rise in form led to clubs lining up for him once again, with Chelsea being one of his suitors. But, the Blues instead turned their attention towards Fernando Llorente during the latter stages of the transfer window, eventually facing disappointment in the Spaniard’s pursuit as Tottenham snapped him up on deadline day.
Christian Benteke won 318 aerial duels in the last season; more than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Dominant. 💪 pic.twitter.com/Myxul2yGo7
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 12, 2017
Meanwhile, at Stamford Bridge, summer arrival Alvaro Morata has adjusted quickly to the challenges in the Premier League. The Spanish striker has become goalscoring extraordinaire for the Premier League champions, and is gunning to win the Golden Boot come the end of the season.
Beyond Morata though, goals have been relatively hard to come by though, with the rest of the side managing just seven goals in eight league games. To add to Antonio Conte’s woes, backup striker Michy Batshuayi hasn’t proven to be a reliable presence up front in the short-term absence of Morata.
Therefore, the Chelsea boss is desperate to sign a striker who will prove to be dependable backup in case Morata can’t be fielded, and has, therefore, turned his attention back towards Benteke. The interest in the Belgian striker does come as a bit of a surprise though.
Benteke’s spell at Liverpool perhaps showed that he might not be adept to the challenges at a top club. But, the 26-year-old is a proven Premier League striker who has scored bagful of goals for several years, which does make him an enticing target for Conte.
Thus, as a backup he might just be the solution he is looking for. With a little less than three years remaining on his current deal with Palace though, the Eagles might ask for a sizable transfer fee, and it remains to be seen if a January move sees the light of the day.