Belfast Telegraph

Benteke can't force Palace exit: Big Sam

West Brom v Crystal Palace, Premier League: The Hawthorns, Today, 3pm

By Declan Warrington

Christian Benteke "will not dictate" his own future amid reports he is considering leaving Crystal Palace, manager Sam Allardyce has said.

The striker arrived from Liverpool last summer for a club-record fee of £27m but instead of transforming them into a top-10 team has found himself in a battle against relegation.

After last week's 1-0 defeat of Middlesbrough, he argued with Andros Townsend at the final whistle after the winger chose to shoot instead of pass, and earlier this week was said to be debating leaving at the season's end.

"Christian signed a four-year contract so we'll tell him what he'll do," said Allardyce, whose team visit West Brom in the Premier League today.

"He's our player and he'll not dictate what he wants to do or doesn't want to do. He accepted that contract in good faith.

"If both parties agree then that's a different matter but for me, rumours like that at this stage of the season: I wouldn't have thought he had said that.

"It's another rumour from another source which generally happens in the transfer window, not around this time. (It's the) usual speculation to try and stir the pot, I suppose."

Allardyce was then asked if he expected to see more from the striker, and he responded: "No. He's scored 11 goals this season: in a struggling side that's a pretty good return.

"He hasn't scored recently and was frustrated last week.

"We need our players to put him into good positions and give him the right type of ball."

Belfast Telegraph


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