Patrick Vieira sends Christian Benteke message after striker completed move to DC United

Patrick Vieira explained why Christian Benteke has left Crystal Palace after six years in south London.

Patrick Vieira has explained that striker Christian Benteke wanted a move away from Crystal Palace, and he leaves with the blessing of everyone.

The Belgian striker departs Selhurst Park after six years in which he helped establish Palace as one of the mainstays in the Premier League.

The former Liverpool forward played 177 games across all competitions for the Eagles and scored 37 goals, assisting 12 times.

However, with just a year left on his contract, and having moved down the pecking order in south London, he decided to make the move to Wayne Rooney’s DC United.

Belgian striker Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The likes of Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta relegated the big Belgian to the bench, and he could only manage four goals last year.

His departure allows Palace the space to bring in another striker who can push the team to another level.

Patrick Vieira (R) gestures as Crystal Palace's Zaire-born Belgian striker Christian Benteke takes a drink (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira said: “This is something he wanted to do. When players want to play, and you can’t guarantee them time or games, you have to let them go.

“Christian spent six years at this football club, and he was fantastic for the football club.

“This is something he wanted to do, and we wish him all the best.”

Disappointing start to the season

The Eagles will now hope that they are able to move on from Benteke’s departure and the 2-0 loss to Arsenal on the opening day of the Premier League.

It doesn’t get any easier though as they have to travel to Anfield to face Liverpool, who themselves are already playing catch up to Manchester City after only picking up a point against Fulham last week.

They then return to Selhurst Park to take on Aston Villa before travelling to the Etihad to face Manchester City on match day four.