It’s been a big week in the club’s history as we smashed our transfer record to land Christian Benteke from Liverpool last Saturday.
It had been a deal that we had been working on for some time, and it was a relief to finally get everything sorted and bring a player of Christian’s quality into the club. Everyone who has watched the Premier League over the past four years knows what an asset he will be for us, as he has proven that he is a goalscorer at this level during his time at Aston Villa and Liverpool.
I loved watching the exciting reaction to his arrival on social media, and I’m sure you will love watching him score goals for us over the next few years. Judging by the amount of Benteke shirts already being purchased, you have quickly taken him to your hearts which is tremendous.
It was great to see him donning the red and blue against Blackpool, and I can’t wait to hear the roar when his name is read out before kick-off in front of a packed house this afternoon against Bournemouth, and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome their directors, management, players and staff to Selhurst Park this afternoon.
Both clubs are still searching for their first point of the campaign, but I feel we have been a little unlucky not to get off the mark so far. The West Brom and Tottenham games were decided on the finest of margins and I felt our performance at White Hart Lane was encouraging. Hopefully we’ll get the right result this afternoon and everyone will be feeling a little more positive again as we head into the international break.
Next week sees the closure of the transfer window, and everyone knows that now is when the market really begins to heat up. We will be offered a huge number of players over the final few days before Wednesday’s deadline, but we have to be careful not to be impulsive, stick to our plan and bring in the right signings if we possibly can.
I am delighted with our business this summer. We have signed quality rather than quantity and unquestionably improved the first-team. As we showed with Christian’s arrival, we are now aiming to attract players from a higher bracket than we have ever attempted to before, and those deals ultimately tend to be a bit more complex and time-consuming.
Hopefully we will be able to do a little bit more business over the next few days, which involves some players possibly coming in and others departing but I believe, whatever happens, that on the first day of September when we announce our 25-man Premier League squad it will be vastly stronger than the one we submitted a year ago.
Despite the result against West Brom a fortnight ago, the atmosphere was superb, with a magnificent display before the game and raucous support throughout. I really hope you can keep that up once again today as we go in search of the three points.