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Pardew Backs Benteke On Reds Reunion

28 October 2016

Tomorrow sees Christian Benteke come up against his former club Liverpool at Selhurst Park, and Alan Pardew can understand the striker having an extra appetite for this game. 

The striker spent last season at Anfield where he hit 10 goals in 42 games after arriving from Aston Villa, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp allowed him to move to south London in the summer, and Pardew believes that will add a bit of spark to his striker on Saturday evening.

"When you don’t think you have had the opportunities you deserve, you are bound to have a bit more of a spring in your step for the game,” he said in his pre-match press conference. 

“I would have if I was him and I expect him to be more charged than normal. When I played against my old club West Ham a couple of weeks ago the game meant a little bit more to me, and that is just a natural human reaction. I am sure that will be the same for him.”

Pardew has been delighted with his club record signing so far, and believes that the impact the 25-year-old has had can be seen on and off the pitch. 

"It is not about what he does on the field, he has so much about him and is a real example to the younger players who we have in our academy for them to look up to,” the Palace boss continued. 

“On the pitch he is powerful, strong and a real handful to centre halves. I ended my career as centre half at Barnet and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to have played against him; he can jump 7ft and catch the ball on his chest. He is tight technically but we need to get him better service." 

Three goals since his move south has given the Belgian striker a lift to his confidence and the manager has seen how much the player is enjoying life at his new club, adding: "He is playing with a smile on his face again which is important because being wanted and part of the team is very important to a footballer. 

“Every player wants to play, especially great players like him."

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