Newcastle United are meandering towards the end of the season after three successive losses in the Premier League.
It was a great achievement to clinch their Premier League survival with five matches to play, but Rafael Benitez will want to do much better during the 2018/19 campaign if he remains in the hot seat at St James’ Park.
There are discussions to be had with the board to make sure that he is given the assurances that he requires to continue the excellent job that he is doing.
One position that will be on the Spaniard’s agenda is a striker, as Islam Slimani has failed to impress during his loan spell and Dwight Gayle has only managed to score five Premier League goals.
There will be a number of players that are known to Benitez, but there is a current top-flight striker that looks to be a great fit for Newcastle United.
The Mirror report that Crystal Palace are ready to offload Christian Benteke and that will have been noted by several Premier League clubs.
His contribution of three goals and five assists is underwhelming, but he has proven his ability in the past and at the age of 27, he has a number of years left at the highest level.
It was only last season when he managed to score 15 goals during his first campaign as a Palace player.
Strikers need confidence and the fact that the team suffered from a poor start may have negatively impacted on Benteke’s own form.
He has struggled to get back among the scorers and it could be that a move away this summer is what he needs to return to the player we have become used to in this country.
Benitez set out his stall in the January transfer window with the signing of Slimani. It is clear that he wants to sign a dominant striker, capable of holding up the ball.
The on-loan Algerian showed signs that he fitted the bill and the team benefitted from having a striker of his profile lead the line.
In the win against Arsenal, it was his impact after coming on that led to the three points.
The doubts about his discipline and fitness mean that he isn’t the permanent answer, but Benitez will likely want a player cut from the same cloth.
Benteke would fit that, as shown by his aerial duels win percentage of 56.45%. There are few better at dominating defences and bringing the players around him into the game.
The Belgian can be unselfish and he has created chances this season, with an average of 1.11 every ninety minutes.
His poor goal record this season is a concern, but he continues to get in the right positions and cause a threat. The Belgian international has averaged 2.31 shots per ninety minutes.
The money may be an issue for Newcastle considering Mike Ashley likes to keep a close eye on the purse strings, but a move for Benteke makes a lot of sense.
He would be a great fit for the system and add star quality that is lacking in the current squad.
St James’ Park has been a good home to many strikers down the years and the Crystal Palace striker may get a new lease of life if he moved to the North East.