West Brom manager Sam Allardyce admits he wants to bring in a new striker this month and would jump at the chance of signing Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke.
The Baggies are in deep trouble, sitting 19th in the Premier League table, six points from safety. Allardyce replaced Slaven Bilic and was charged with the task of pulling off another rescue act.
He has identified areas that require strengthening and it is obvious that he needs help up front. Albion have netted just 15 top-flight goals this term and, combined with conceding 43, that spells trouble.
The former England chief’s ability to recruit players who can make an impact is well known. He has done it at other clubs and has until the end of January to work his magic at the Hawthorns.
Allardyce worked with Benteke while in charge of Palace and would like a reunion with the Belgium star.
“I am not sure if Christian is available,” he said. “If they came to me and said he was available….I am not sure that is the case at the moment.
“If he is available I would be interested, everybody knows I am interested in a frontman.”
Benteke is in the final six months of his deal with the Eagles. He has been with the south London outfit since leaving Liverpool in the summer of 2016.
But the Zaire-born hitman has never really shown the form that earned him plaudits during three years with Aston Villa. He scored 42 league goals from 89 appearances for the Villans but has just 24 from 120 outings for Roy Hodgson’s side.
The former Genk forward has scored three goals from 13 Palace appearances in 2020-21. Jean-Philippe Mateta’s arrival on loan from Mainz means he may now struggle for game time during the rest of the season.
But reports claim the much-travelled frontman is not keen on leaving his current surroundings for a relegation scrap.
Palace chief Hodgson also doubts that the move will happen.
He said: “To be honest, Christian’s in our team at the moment. I didn’t know Sam had been talking about it, but he hasn’t been speaking to me about it so I don’t quite know who he’s speaking to.”
Winger on the way
He has been unattached since then and is reportedly set to undergo a West Brom medical this week. The Nigerian was once on the Leicester City books but failed to make much of an impact.
He has since stated his desire to prove himself in England – and it could be with the Baggies.
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