Besiktas increase Turkish fascination with Crystal Palace flop

Date published: Tuesday 30th March 2021 7:10 - Neil Foster


Reports claim Besiktas have joined Turkish rivals Fenerbahce in the battle to sign Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke in the summer transfer window.

Benteke, 30, will be out of contract with Palace at the end of the season. The Belgium international has been at Selhurst Park for five years but shows no signs of extending that stay. The Zaire-born ace has played in England for the best part of a decade. He moved to Aston Villa from Belgian club Genk in the summer of 2012.

After scoring 49 goals from 101 appearances in all competitions, he was snapped up by Liverpool in July 2015. But it was only a one-year stay at Anfield as he left to join the Eagles after netting 10 goals from 42 outings.

The south London outfit paid an initial £27m for the powerful forward but he has not lived up to that price tag. In nearly five seasons with Palace, the former Standard Liege man has bagged just 28 goals from 138 appearances.

He has been the subject of much criticism and it seems as though his time at the club will soon be ending. Benteke was targeted by West Brom in the January transfer window.

Baggies boss Sam Allardyce was looking for anything to spark the West Midlanders into life. However, he remained with Palace and is said to favour a move abroad.

Fenerbahce have already been linked and now, according to Fanatik (via Sport Witness), Besiktas are in the race. That brings the number of Istanbul-based clubs seeking his signature to three.

A recent report suggested Galatasaray president Mustafa Cengiz wants to sign the Belgium international to help his re-election campaign.

Besiktas are currently top of the Turkish Sup Lig and that might help their efforts to land Benteke. Other clubs may well enter the fray but the report claims he was ‘offered to the management’.

Benteke a disappointment to Palace fans

Much was expected of Benteke when he arrived from Liverpool. But is has just not happened. There have been too many wasted chances up front and frustration for fans and management alike.

It was possibly surprising when he was handed a contract extension in 2019. Save for his first season when he bagged 17 goals, he has looked devoid of confidence in front of goal.

He has scored only 11 times in all competitions since the start of 2017-2018. But it seems as though the Turkish trio are unconcerned and are willing to take a punt on the Eagles flop.

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