Crystal Palace have confirmed the signing of Christian Benteke from Liverpool. The 25-year-old Belgian international signed a four-year contract with the south London club on Saturday for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £27m.
Benteke, who signed for Liverpool from Aston Villa for £32.5m little more than a year ago, endured a difficult first season at Anfield and it quickly became clear that he did not fit into Jürgen Klopp’s plans after the German replaced Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.
Despite impressing in a dismal Aston Villa side, scoring 42 league goals in four seasons at the club, Benteke looked out of place for large parts of his debut season at Anfield and managed just 10 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions.
He was part of Belgium’s squad for Euro 2016 but played second fiddle to Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and failed to find the net in either of his two appearances at the tournament.
Benteke is Alan Pardew’s fourth first-team signing of the summer, joining Steve Mandanda, Andros Townsend and James Tomkins in arriving at Selhurst Park. The striker told the club’s website: “I’m very happy to commit my future to Crystal Palace and I’m looking forward to meeting the manager, the players and the staff. I feel really happy that the deal has been done and now I can look forward.”
Pardew, the Palace manager, said: “It’s important when you lose iconic players to try and replace them with iconic players. We’ve lost two this week, Mile Jedinak and [Yannick] Bolasie. Both were massive figures at this club and we will need to replace them with big figures.
“That’s something that didn’t always happen at [his former club] Newcastle, unfortunately, so I’m pleased the board have been brave with this move.
“He’s someone I know very, very well because I wanted to take him to Newcastle. I thought he’d be a fantastic fit for that club. He got the move to Liverpool and it hasn’t quite worked out. For us, we need to get him back to doing what he does best. His style of play, the way he feeds off crosses. He’ll enjoy that with the wide players we have.”