Former Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has claimed that a lack of confidence is the reason behind Christian Benteke's poor form.
Pardew was the manager who brought Benteke to Selhurst Park from Liverpool for a club record £27m in 2016, and during his debut season at the club it seemed that the Belgian was providing good value for money.
He scored 17 goals during that first year, 15 of them in the Premier League, but he only found the net three times last season and his poor form continued into the start of this campaign before a knee injury sidelined him.
"When we bought him in we thought that would be us [established] as a top 10 team," Pardew told the Goals on Sunday podcast. "The owners didn’t really understand why they were in that relegation area when you have a player of that capability.
"But it all has to fit. He started quite well but he’s lost his way a little bit and he’s struggled to re-capture that form. He’s a terrific lad, I really, really like him and I really hope that something falls for him, he gets his goals and his confidence. I think it’s his confidence [which is the problem].
"There is pressure on him to deliver. His all round game has to improve. Somewhere along the line he’s lost that inner confidence that takes you from being a normal player to being a very, very good player."
Palace manager Roy Hodgson confirmed two weeks ago that Benteke will not play again in 2018 after undergoing surgery on his knee.