By 90Min
September 03, 2018

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has sent a warning to striker Christian Benteke.

The Belgian forward, who only scored three goals for the Eagles last season, has so far failed to find the back of the net in this one. And Hodgson has hinted that he could find himself out of the starting 11 if the drought continues.

Benteke was presented with several opportunities during Palace's loss to Southampton on the weekend, yet was unable to make any of them count.

As things stand, though, Benteke remains the Londoners' first-choice striker. But competition for places could soon grow, with Alexander Sorlorth and Jordan Ayew available, while Connor Wickham nears fitness. The Eagles are also thought to be keen on re-signing free agent Bakary Sako, so things could get a bit difficult for Benteke if he doesn't improve soon.

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"Of course the moment may well come when we think, 'Better do something about this'," Hodgson told Sky Sports. "And, as we get players back fit like Wilf Zaha and (James) Tomkins, the options will become greater.

“It depends what your options are, doesn’t it? We still consider (Benteke) to be our best option in that position. Had we had other options, maybe we might have considered those too.

“All the time he is working as hard as he is and trying as hard, it might not be the right moment (to drop him).

“We encourage him as best we can. We encourage him to concentrate hard on the things he can do. We encourage him to realise that it is not just about scoring goals. There are other things he needs to do to make us a successful team and get us points. We do all the things any sensible manager and coaching staff would do.

“If he goes away with Belgium (during the international football break), maybe gets a chance to play in one of the games, scores a couple of goals, that would be great for us.”

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