Roy Hodgson: ‘Best is yet to come from Christian Benteke’

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The 30-year-old will return to former club Aston Vacation Home on Boxing Day.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson thinks the very best days of Christian Benteke‘s career might still be yet to come.

Eagles striker Benteke has withstood an extended barren spell extending back to the start of the 2017-18 season however has revealed glances of past splendors by striking 3 goals in as lots of Premier League games.

The 30-year-old will return to Aston Vacation Home– his first English club– on Saturday, having actually remained the 7-0 drubbing against his former side Liverpool due to suspension.

While lots of footballers are viewed to remain in decline once they pass 30, veteran manager Hodgson firmly insists age is no barrier and has advised Benteke to resume his red-hot form.

“I think we have to start reviewing ages. In the past when the game was extremely tough for relatively small squads, by the time a player got to 30 – if he started at 18, 19 – he was really starting to show signs of serious wear and tear,” stated Hodgson.

” I do not think that holds true any more.

” I think we can anticipate players now to be going on longer and we can anticipate the ages of in between 27 and 32 perhaps as being their best years since they won’ t have actually lost anything physically and they will have all of the understanding and experience that playing football matches every week provides.

“I think he’s in an excellent period and it’s up to him to kick on. He’s started brightly and all we can do is to encourage him to keep it going.”

After costing a reported ₤ 27million from Liverpool in 2016, Benteke struck 17 times in all competitions during a fairly respected first term in south London.

Nevertheless, the Belgium international has handled just 9 top-flight goals in the past three-and-a-half years, consisting of a brace in the 5-1 win at West Brom on December 6 and the opener in the 1-1 draw at West Ham 10 days later on.

A red card in the second half against the Hammers triggered him to miss out on a reunion with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds last weekend however he is poised to return to Palace’s starting XI against Vacation Home, for whom he scored 42 top-flight goals in between 2012 and 2015.

Hodgson feels Benteke is gaining the benefits of his effort in training and hopes he can offer Belgium boss Roberto Martinez with regular suggestions of his skills ahead of next summer’s European Champions.

“We’ve always made it clear to him that you don’t lose an ability to be a proper centre-forward, both in terms of your link-up play and your scoring of goals,” stated Hodgson.

” I should state I might never ever question Christian’s desire to get back into the sort of form he remains in at the minute.

” And even in training sessions possibly when his self-confidence was low, he never ever quit working, he never ever stopped attempting to do the right things.

” I see it at the minute as a just benefit.

“(He) is now very much focusing very heavily on the rest of this season, doing well for Crystal Palace and hopefully marking the card of Roberto to give him a chance to play in the Euros.”

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