Benteke Set to Snub Secondary Role at Chelsea to Maintain Starting XI Status at Crystal Palace

Monday July 24th, 2017

​Chelsea are said to be on the hunt for an accomplished secondary striker to deputise new signing Alvaro Morata, and Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke has surfaced as a potential target.

Despite Michy Batshuayi's potent form for the Blues in-front of goal of late, Antonio Conte is vying to bolster his attacking ranks, although the Eagles' Belgium international - according to a report published by Independent - is unwilling to play second fiddle at the Premier League champions, with the 2018 World Cup in Russia being just around the corner.

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Starting week in, week out is a reality for the striker who made the switch to Selhurst Park from Liverpool last summer in a deal worth £27m, ultimately Benteke is aiming to have a strong season under Frank de Boer next term to earn a seat on Belgium's plane next summer.

Benteke, 26, helped the south Londoners avoid the drop last season and scored 17 goals throughout the 2016-17 campaign in all competitions, a return which Conte is said to admire.

Swansea City's Fernando Llorente, 32, has also been pinpointed by the Italian boss as a worthy understudy to former Real Madrid attacker Morata.

However Benteke - speaking whilst on Palace's pre-season tour (via Express- revealed that he is indeed 'very happy' in his current surroundings and wants to play a part in de Boer's project at the club next term in order to compete at next year's World Cup.

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“I am very happy. Since we came back I did not really want to talk but I want to be here." He claimed.

“I want to be part of the project of the manager. I want to perform and to score more goals and to really help the team to reach where they want to be.

“There is the World Cup [next summer] and that is an important aspect of being with the club — and you have to perform to be part of that group.”


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