The mere thought of a Tony Pulis side lining up with Christian Benteke in attack is enough to induce intense migraines in sleep-deprived centre-halves. Yet, fortunately for opposition backlines, it seems the Belgian battering ram won’t be bringing his formidable aerial ability to The Hawthorns this month.
The Sun reported recently that Pulis, who missed out on Benteke in the summer, was keen on renewing his interest in January with Palace boss Sam Allardyce apparently ready to cut ties with the club’s £32 million record signing in order to strengthen his squad’s various other vulnerabilities.
However, ‘Big Sam’s’ own admiration for a powerful, beast of a forward is well established and Benteke appears the perfect fit for a manager who transformed Kevin Davies into a recognised Premier League centre-forward.
And, according to the man himself, Palace’s top scorer will be going nowhere in January.
"Unless the chairman knows any different from me, Christian Benteke is not for sale. I think he'll be available for this weekend,” Allardyce said in quotes reported by the Evening Standard.
Consequently, this may well push a West Brom side lying eighth in the table thanks to the line-leading excellence of Salomon Rondon to ramp up their reported pursuit of Napoli’s Italian international Manolo Gabbiadini.
Football Italia reported earlier in the week that The Baggies had tabled a club record £17 million for the 25-year-old and, although he is unproven in England and has been far from prolific in Naples, his arrival would be a huge indicator of West Brom’s ambitions.
Powerful, strong and combining impressive hold-up play with intelligent vision and technique, Gabbiadini could be the perfect partner for Rondon in attack, the functional ten to the Venezuelan’s orthodox nine.