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Friday 9 December 2016

Tomkins hails impact of new Eagles

Christian Benteke. Photo: PA
Christian Benteke. Photo: PA

James Tomkins has praised the impact new signings Christian Benteke and Steve Mandanda have already made at Crystal Palace.

The duo made their debuts in Tuesday's comfortable 2-0 EFL Cup second-round defeat of Blackpool, when Tomkins also started for the club for the first time.

He spoke of goalkeeper Mandanda's confidence in possession and of £27m club-record signing Benteke providing a goal threat when it has consistently been missing.

Tomkins said: "It was a nice test to get through 90 minutes," said the 27-year-old. "I am raring to go. I want to play. I feel ready. My injury is behind me.

"(Mandanda's) brilliant. As a defender it relieves a lot of pressure knowing someone is going to get the ball. It is a great statement (to sign Benteke). Hopefully he can hit the ground running. I know we have been struggling to score goals. He is a presence."

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