Roy Hodgson has admitted that he is concerned by Christian Benteke’s poor goalscoring form this season, with the Belgium international yet to get off the mark.
Last season, Benteke struck 15 times to steer Crystal Palace away from the relegation zone, but this season he hasn’t scored in 12 top-flight outings.
The former Aston Villa centre forward drew yet another blank on Tuesday when his side completed a dramatic late comeback win over 10-man Watford, courtesy of late goals from Bakary Sako and James McArthur.
Despite Benteke’s struggles, the Eagles extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games. With Benteke having missed a late penalty in last Saturday’s 2-2 with Bournemouth, Hodgson conceded that it is an issue. He said;
Of course, him not scoring is a concern to us, to him and to the fans. He needs to keep working hard and make a good contribution to the team.
We can’t afford to carry anyone, let alone a goalscorer who isn’t scoring goals. We won’t keep reminding him about it. I wouldn’t be gaining a great deal by doing that.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Palace face-off against Leicester, and Hodgson is wary of the threat that the flying Foxes possess, with the club excelling under new boss Claude Puel.
They’re a good team with good players, so the manager has done well since he’s come into the club.
It’s no surprise to us that Leicester are winning matches, scoring goals and playing well because we know what a good team they are. It’s not that long ago that they were the champions of England. You don’t become champions and lose all your quality within a season.
Even without the results that they’ve put together we’d have still been very respectful when we go there on Saturday – and fearing the quality that they have.