Roy Hodgson believes Christian Benteke does have a future at Crystal Palace despite his disappointing campaign

Benteke has made 29 appearances this season but has only found the net three times

Harry Latham-Coyle
Thursday 03 May 2018 18:14 BST
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Christian Benteke arrived at Selhurst Park from Liverpool for an up front cost of £27 million
Christian Benteke arrived at Selhurst Park from Liverpool for an up front cost of £27 million (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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Roy Hodgson has said he is ‘confident’ that striker Christian Benteke will be a Crystal Palace player next season ahead of Saturday’s visit to Stoke City.

Benteke has looked a shadow of his former-self at Selhurst Park during an indifferent campaign, scoring just three times in 29 games for the Eagles.

But the Belgian has the full support of his manager, who was quick to recall the crucial role he played in Palace’s survival last year.

"He signed a long-term deal when he got to the club. I see no reason why he or the club are anxious to break that in any way," Hodgson said.

“He'll tell you it's not been a great season in terms of goals, but he'll also tell you he's a lot better than this.

“He got over 15 goals last term to help keep Palace up.”

Hodgson has been widely praised for the work he has done with Palace, taking the club from rock-bottom with no points and no goals after seven matches to a much less precarious position in 11th with 38 points on the board.

The 70-year-old has now turned his attentions to next season, and when asked about his future, the former England manager said he has no plans to leave south London.

"I don't have any plans in that respect [regarding his future]," Hodgson added. "I don't know why the previous two managers left.

"I'm hoping when I get to speak to Steve Parish and the other directors, we're going to put a plan in place to make certain we don't find ourselves once again fighting relegation.

“It's one hundred per cent certain you can't do it year after year and continually survive.

"Next season's going to be a very important one. We need to get our preparation right - it obviously wasn't right this season, because of a change in manager so early in the season.

"And we need to get our recruitment right because we're going to be losing some very important players at the end of this year."

Injuries have blighted Palace this season but Hodgson had more good news to report regarding Jason Puncheon.

The playmaker suffered a cruciate ligament injury in January, and although Hodgson confirmed that he is not likely to feature before the end of the season, the former Southampton player could train with the club on Friday.

Connor Wickham sat out training on Thursday, but he is “okay” according to Hodgson.

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