Saturday 29 October 2016

Alan Pardew admits relief as Crystal Palace agree fee for Christian Benteke

Published 19/08/2016 | 12:11

Alan Pardew had tried to sign Christian Benteke, pictured, when he was Newcastle boss
Alan Pardew had tried to sign Christian Benteke, pictured, when he was Newcastle boss

Alan Pardew has spoken of his relief at Crystal Palace agreeing a transfer fee for Liverpool's Christian Benteke.

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The striker, 25, is on the verge of joining Palace for a club-record £27million plus £5million in add-ons to conclude Pardew's summer-long pursuit.

His expected arrival will come in the same week that club favourites Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak have left the club and will strengthen an obviously weak area of the manager's team.

Pardew revealed, however, that he was concerned the transfer market would conspire to eventually price Benteke out of Palace's reach.

The 55-year-old also wants a further forward to follow Benteke, but is not yet considering recruiting a midfielder despite Jedinak's departure to Aston Villa.

"I was concerned, because the market for strikers is very small, and we're taking one off the market," said Pardew, whose team on Saturday visit Tottenham in the Premier League.

"You could argue over the timing of this, but the timing's important; if we'd gone any longer it might have been even more money.

As soon as one of the big strikers come off the market, then the value of those who are available goes up. So I'm hoping that we've got this in good time.

"(But) We're going to need a little bit more than Benteke. One signing is not going to be enough for our forward line. We're a bit short at the moment."

Pardew expects to have Yohan Cabaye, Jordon Mutch, James Tomkins and James McArthur available to start Saturday's fixture at White Hart Lane, which represents Andros Townsend's first there since leaving Spurs for Newcastle in January.

Cabaye only featured as a substitute in last week's 1-0 home defeat by West Brom because of a lack of match fitness. The manager also considers McArthur's potential return to be equally important, and the reason why a replacement for Jedinak may not be necessary.

"We missed him so much last year, and if we can get him back in the squad, like just towards the end (of last season): when we got him there was a lift in us," he said. "He's important to us. (And) I think Cabaye will be better this year.

"I hope (Townsend) gets a positive reaction, because he did well for Spurs. Okay, his opportunities weren't as many as he'd have liked, but he always gave his all for them, and was always a threat when I saw him play there.

"Our fans just got a little taster last week; there's more to come from him. Particularly if the goal opens up to him, he's as good a wide player in terms of hitting the target with power that I've worked with, and that is going to contribute to goals. He's a great crosser of the ball, and that bodes well if we can sign a new player..."

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