Benteke hailed by Belgium

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez says Christian Benteke is a completely different player since he signed for Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace: Benteke hailed by BelgiumCrystal Palace: Benteke hailed by Belgium

Replacing the injured Romelu Lukaku, Benteke scored after just seven seconds in the Algarve as the Belgians romped to an easy 6-0 victory over Gibraltar.

Former Everton manager Martinez said the Eagles striker looked sharper than he did during the international fortnight in September, and was pleased by his contribution.

“I wanted to use Christian – just because I have seen him very sharp,” Martinez said. “In training I have seen him when he was first called up and now.

“When he was first called up, he was almost rushed. He had a really poor pre-season, he couldn’t settle where he was. He was thinking about the next move.

“Now he is a completely different player. I have seen him strong I have seen him match fit. I wanted to see him today how he could play in a game where we were going to spend most of the time in their half.

“I wanted to see, movement, his hold up play. Not just how he would be in the box so I was pleased.

“I was pleased with the manner that he started in the game, pleased with the contribution, but scoring a hat-trick. and contributing the way that he did is going to be really good for him and he deserves that.”

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