June 5, 2017 / 7:06 AM / 3 months ago

Soccer-Benteke happy at Palace despite Allardyce exit

June 5 (Reuters) - Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke was surprised to hear that Sam Allardyce had stepped down as manager just five months after guiding them to Premier League safety but the Belgian international says it has not changed his position at the club.

Palace avoided relegation last season after Allardyce, who joined the club in December, led them to seven wins in their last 15 league matches but stepped down from his role at the end of the season for personal reasons.

"It was a surprise for me," Benteke told British media. "I was on holiday when I heard. He's a big man, he knows what he's doing.

"I'm still happy because I am playing the way I want to play and the last few weeks the team did well."

Benteke, who was the club's leading goalscorer with 17 goals last season, is also keen for on-loan defender and former Liverpool team mate Mamadou Sakho to make a permanent move to Palace.

"I tried to convince him to stay," Benteke added. "But at the end of the day, it's up to him. He knows what he needs and what he wants to do.

"Obviously it won't be easy because of the demand, but we'll see. Hopefully, he's going to stay." (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford; )

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