Patrick Vieira has praised Christian Benteke for responding perfectly to being dropped by club and country in October. The striker started four of Palace’s opening five Premier League games of the season but was replaced in the starting XI by new signing Odsonne Edouard for games against Brighton and Leicester. Ahead of the Eagles’ next match against Newcastle on Saturday, Vieira said he was pleased with how Benteke reacted to losing his place in the team and praised the striker’s work ethic for forcing his way back into contention.
Patrick Viera said: “Christian has been a really good professional. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn from the players and sometimes the best way to learn from the players is when they are in a difficult period. I think the fact that he didn’t go to the international [team] allowed him to have a full week of hard training sessions, and that allowed him to perform against Arsenal. I was really pleased because when he wasn’t playing he didn’t feel sorry for himself, he just put his sleeves up and worked even harder. This is the way I want players to respond when they are not in the starting XI. I think Christian was and is a really good example as to how you conduct yourself as a professional.”
Benteke will be hoping his goal will put him into contention for starting against Newcastle on Saturday, though Vieira has several attacking options to consider. Wilfried Zaha has recovered from his illness and will be fit to play a role, while Edouard also scored against Arsenal and was voted man of the match on the night.
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