D.C. United signs Premier League veteran Benteke

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke makes an attempt to score during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. (Jon Super/AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. United have signed forward Christian Benteke on a permanent transfer from Crystal Palace.

Benteke was signed through 2024 with a club option for 2025. He’ll join the club once he obtains his visa and transfer papers.

Benteke, 31, has played in the Premier League for the past 10 seasons, including stints with Aston Villa, Liverpool and Crystal Palace. He’s played in 280 Premier League games with 86 total goals and 23 assists.

“Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time,” United coach Wayne Rooney said in a statement Friday. “His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It’s exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference.”

Benteke played for Crystal Palace for six seasons, playing in 177 games across all competitions with 37 goals and 12 assists, after a transfer from Liverpool for $34 million.

“We are getting an elite striker in Christian and completing this signing on transfer deadline day is a huge accomplishment for the club,” general manager Lucy Rushton said. “Christian is a dynamic forward who has scored goals at the highest levels. His strength and power will make him a focal point of our team and his ability to link-up play will be a valuable asset to us.”

Benteke has also played for his native Belgium since 2010, scoring 18 goals and three assists in 45 games. He played for Belgium in the Euros in 2016 and 2020.

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