Crystal Palace will bring Jonathan Benteke as part of the squad to take on Middlesbrough after the injury to Chelsea loanee Loic Remy.
With Remy suffering an injury in training, Christian Benteke’s younger brother will take his spot in the squad for the away game against newcomers Middlesbrough on Sunday. While Christian arrived for big money from Liverpool, Jonathan, 21, only cost the Eagles a nominal fee as he joined from Belgian side Zulte-Waregem.
“He is a young striker with natural talent, and they are not easy to find,” Palace manager Alan Pardew said. “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.”
With Yohan Cabaye out injured, and question marks surrounding James MacArthur and Bakary Sako, Pardew will also bring new signing Mathieu Flamini.
“Physically, Mathieu is ready,” Pardew said. “He is very fit, but whether he is up to game speed, I do not know. I am going to take him because his knowledge, and having him around, will be like having another coach.”
The Eagles boss also gave an update on Remy, who will do his rehab work back at Chelsea.
“It is a tear in his thigh in an area where recovery is difficult, affecting his shooting,” Pardew said. “We have to be careful with him. We are so disappointed because he’d looked great, and it was a very innocuous moment on the training ground. Sadly that happens. Fortunately we have enough cover to cope without him for this period.”