Crystal Palace are set to have two members of the Benteke family in their squad for this weekend’s Premier League trip to Middlesbrough.
With Loic Rémy facing two months on the sidelines through injury, Palace manager Alan Pardew has become desperate in his need for reinforcements, and with the transfer window closed, he is looking at the club’s development squad.
To that end, Christian Benteke’s younger brother Jonathan will be included in the travelling party for the Riverside visit, as reported today by the Guardian.
The 21-year-old arrived at Selhurst Park from Zulte Waregem around the same time as older brother Christian was sealing a £27m move from Liverpool, and Pardew has admitted that the older sibling had a big hand in the transfer:
“This one was because of Christian, really. He highlighted him to us.
“We checked him out and liked the look of him. It was not a big fee so he comes here under no pressure. He is not up to his brother’s level yet, he would readily admit that, because Christian is a top-line player.
But Jonathan is very enthusiastic and has settled in very well. Hopefully, he might surprise one or two.”
Benteke Jr’s goal return is not particularly impressive right now – just 2 in 21 over the past two seasons – but Pradew patently sees enough in him for him to be included in the squad for tomorrow. )That, plus the manager didn’t have much of an alternative.)
He may not even see any game time, however, with Christian, Connor Wickham and Kwesi Appiah ahead of him.
Yohan Cabaye will definitely miss the match thorough injury, while Bakary Sako and James McArthur will undergo late fitness tests.
Pardew would not be drawn on whether new signing Mathieu Flamini would be included – he stated that the former Arsenal midfielder was physically fit, but not up to speed in terms of match sharpness.