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‘Proud’ Benteke commits to Palace

London (AFP) – Belgium striker Christian Benteke said he is “happy and proud” to have committed his future to Premier League side Crystal Palace after signing a two-year extension on Thursday.

The 30-year-old scored 10 times in last season’s Premier League campaign to take his tally to 31 in 137 league appearances for the Eagles since joining for a club record fee reported to be £27 million ($38.3 million) in 2016 from Liverpool.

Benteke — who is part of the Belgium squad for Euro 2020 — has committed himself despite the club being without a manager after Roy Hodgson stepped down at the end of the season.    

“I’m happy and proud to commit my future to Crystal Palace,” Benteke said on the club website.

“Five years already and still a lot more to come.

“We have a great group of players and staff, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead and playing in front of our fans again.”

Benteke may not have been the most prolific goalscorer but Palace chairman Steve Parish said he has been a pillar of the side in retaining their position in the elite division.

“Christian has been an integral part of consolidating our position as an established Premier League club over the last five years,” said Parish.

“He is an outstanding professional and has more than proven that he still has the quality and the hunger to perform for our club at the highest level, and I couldn’t be happier to see him in red and blue for another two seasons.”

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