Why Christian Benteke would be worth a punt for West Brom in January
According to the Daily Mail, West Brom have included Christian Benteke on their shortlist of potential striker targets in the January window. The Belgian is under consideration at The Hawthorns as Sam Allardyce considers a reunion with the target man to help the Baggies in their fight against relegation.
It has been claimed that Crystal Palace are willing to listen to offers for the 30-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season. The Eagles recently roped in Jean-Philippe Mateta on an 18-month loan from Mainz with an obligation to buy. That is expected to push the misfiring Benteke further down the pecking order.
Baggies’ goalscoring woes
West Brom currently find themselves locked in a relegation dogfight at the bottom of the table in the Premier League. The Baggies have managed just a couple of wins from 19 games so far, accumulating 11 points in the process. That has left them 19th in the standings, six points adrift of safety.
The Midlands outfit have scored just 15 goals in the PL so far, which is among the worst attacking records in the entire division. Only Burnley and Sheffield United have managed to find the net fewer times, which pretty much sums up West Brom’s struggles in the top-flight.
Albion’s season is certainly not beyond repair but it goes without saying that a significant improvement on those numbers is required if the Baggies are to ensure safety.
Karlan Grant has clearly failed to live up to the expectations as the club’s first-choice No.9. The former Huddersfield Town star has scored just once in 12 games so far and has been ruled out for the next six weeks after picking up an ankle injury earlier this month.
Charlie Austin’s loan departure has left Allardyce with Hal Robson-Kanu and Callum Robinson as the only senior options up top. Given that neither player has offered an awful lot, a new striker should definitely be high on West Brom’s agenda in the January window.
Benteke a good option?
Christian Benteke might only be a shadow of his former prolific self nowadays but he still has enough quality and experience to simply walk into West Brom’s starting eleven. The Belgian has shown glimpses of returning to his best this season, scoring thrice in 13 PL appearances for Palace so far.
The 30-year-old looks somewhat past his prime but would still represent a massive upgrade on the likes of Robinson, Grant and Robson-Kanu. It’s worth a reminder that Benteke enjoyed the second-most prolific campaign of his career in England under Allardyce at Selhurst Park in 2016-17 with 15 goals in 36 appearances. (h/t Transfermarkt)
Despite Benteke’s dwindling goal returns in recent years, he still remains a powerful presence in front of goal with his hold-up play and aerial prowess. Going by Wyscout data, the Belgian has completed the second-most aerial duels per 90 (15.35) after Sheffield United striker Oliver McBurnie this season.
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With Benteke potentially available on a cut-price deal this month, West Brom should definitely fancy their chances of nabbing the vastly-experienced Belgian in the winter market. He could be a real asset in their fight against relegation if Allardyce manages to get the best out of him once again.