Premier League • England

Wolves set sights on shock swoop for Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke after Fabio Silva loan exit

Christian Benteke controlling the ball for Crystal Palace

Wolves could take former Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke back to the midlands in a transfer from Crystal Palace, according to a report.

Benteke has now spent 10 seasons as a Premier League player. The centre-forward initially shone at Aston Villa, before a big move to Liverpool only lasted one season. Since 2016, he has been plying his trade for Crystal Palace.

During his time with the Eagles, he has scored 37 goals in 177 games. There could be more to come, since his contract still has another season left on it.

Alternatively, Benteke could make a move before his contract expires, despite his agent recently insisting he is happy in London. That way, Palace would be able to get some financial return on a player who cost them around £28million originally.

Someone who could take him off their hands would be Wolves. According to The Sun, Benteke has become a target at Molineux.

Wolves were the lowest scorers outside the relegation zone last season. Therefore, they need to find a way to inject more goals into their attack.

Although Benteke only scored four times last season among 31 appearances, Wolves would be hoping his previous track record in English football could still benefit them.

It is not yet clear how much the 31-year-old may cost. Clearly, his market value has declined in recent years.

It also remains to be seen how Benteke would feel about joining Wolves. They finished two places above Palace in the Premier League last season, by just three points.

In fact, Wolves have ranked above Palace in every season since they returned to the top flight.

Therefore, there could be benefits to making the move to Molineux. What’s more, Benteke would be back closer to the original surroundings he found himself in when moving to England from Belgium back in 2012.

Palace already have a few other options in Benteke’s position. They can also call upon Jean-Philippe Mateta, Odsonne Edouard, Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha and Luke Plange.

In contrast, Wolves are in need of further depth in attack. Raul Jimenez and Hwang Hee-chan mainly shared the responsibilities last season.

Benteke could plug Silva gap at Wolves

They also loaned Fabio Silva out to Anderlecht on Tuesday, but not before extending his contract until 2026, with the option of a further year.

Technical director Scott Sellars told their club website: “We’ve had lots of discussions between myself and Bruno, and with Fabio as well, about what we feel is best for his development, and we felt that a season playing regularly would be very good for him at this point in his career.

“He’s only just turned 20 today, so he’s still a very young boy and he needs a season of playing regular senior football in a competitive league so he can come back to Wolves stronger.

“We saw with the performances of Morgan [Gibbs-White] last year how much of a positive impact a loan can have on a young player, so we believe it’s the right step in his development to follow the same path.”

Despite Silva’s struggles so far, the fact they have extended his deal suggests faith for the future. While he is developing in Benteke’s homeland with Anderlecht, though, Wolves could require a stop-gap solution.

In that regard, a deal for Benteke could make sense after all. He may not be the main man, but has enough experience and talent to make himself useful.

It would only make sense for Wolves if the deal is right, though. As things stand, there is no indication as to whether it would be or not.

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