Hodgson Admits Benteke’s Form is a Concern for Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson admits Christian Benteke’s current form is a concern and says Crystal Palace cannot afford to carry a striker that isn’t scoring.

Benteke has not scored since May and missed an injury-time penalty against Bournemouth last weekend that could have won Palace the match.

The Belgian was not the designated penalty taker, leaving Hodgson frustrated that his striker had taken matters into his own hands with usual taker Luka Milivojevic, who scored earlier from the spot, still being on the pitch.

Speaking before Crystal Palace’s trip to play Leicester on Saturday, Hodgson said: “Of course when your front player – the man who is a pivotal focal point in your attack – is not scoring, it’s a concern.

“It’s a concern to him, it’s a concern to us and it’s a concern to fans.

“He can do nothing more than keep working at it, keep working very, very hard.”

Benteke’s form is a particular problem for 18th-placed Palace given they have only scored 12 Premier League goals this season – only bottom-of-the-table Swansea have scored fewer.

The Belgian cost over £30m when he signed from Liverpool in August 2016, and Hodgson warned Benteke that Palace can’t afford to carry him.

He said: “If the goals aren’t coming he needs to be making certain he’s making a good contribution to the team’s play, both in terms of our attacking and our defensive play.

“We certainly can’t afford to carry anybody, let alone carry a goalscorer that isn’t scoring goals.”


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