Benteke can be key says Palace star

Crystal Palace star Jason Puncheon has hailed the impact Christian Benteke has made following his summer switch from Liverpool.

Crystal Palace: Benteke can be key says Palace starCrystal Palace: Benteke can be key says Palace star

Benteke struggled during his time with Liverpool but has already started to justify Palace’s hefty outlay to bring him to Selhurst Park with three goals in seven appearances, including one in each of his last two outings before the international break.

The 25-year-old hit a hat-trick for Belgium on Monday in their 6-0 World Cup 2018 qualifier mauling of Gibraltar and Puncheon says the former Aston Villa striker has already established himself as a key member of the Palace side.

“Christian [Benteke] has come in and pushed us on and we have good competition for places,” he told the Croydon Advertiser.

“He [Benteke] has come in and got his goals for us and is fighting against [Romelu] Lukaku for Belgium, and he got his goals in midweek, so it is great credit to him.”

Palace have managed one win in three attempts at home in the Premier League so far this term, a 4-1 win over Stoke in their most recent home game, and Puncheon feels they have to make Selhurst Park a “fortress” this season ahead of West Ham’s visit on Saturday.

He added: “It is fair to say [our home form hasn’t always been the best] and our fans carry us,”

“It is only right for us as player to put it right on the pitch and make it a fortress, and we have showed we can do that.”

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