Christian Benteke’s efforts for Aston Villa so far this season have won him much praise.
The Belgian has impressed since joining the club in the summer for £7 million from K.R.C. Genk, and now seems to have replaced Darren Bent as the club’s number one striker.
However, while many football fans may be focusing on the achievements of Robin Van Persie, Luis Suárez and so on this season, should more people be lauding Christian Benteke’s play? Additionally, should other clubs, though many seem to be getting ready to swoop for outcast Darren Bent, be perhaps looking at bringing in Aston Villa’s new star?
Many have marvelled at Christian Benteke’s appearances this season, and the striker has even been compared to Didier Drogba. The striker, who is just 21 years old, has scored eight times in 17 appearances so far this season, including five Premier League goals. He even managed to score two times against Liverpool in Aston Villa’s 3-1 win at the weekend.
So what are the good qualities that Christian Benteke has that have made such a big impression? He has been praised for his power, aggression, slick build and more. On Saturday, he managed to unsettle Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel with his work-rate and presence despite the two Liverpool players being a great partnership. Even Brendan Rodgers was impressed by the striker, whose club Liverpool has coincidentally been linked with a move for the man that Christian Benteke has overshadowed, Darren Bent. Other elements he has been praised for include his pace and his eye for goal, while his team mate Ashley Westwood has claimed that “defenders are frightened of him”.
Some questioned a £7 million price tag for someone who was a relative unknown before Aston Villa bought him. A few fans were also doubtful whether Paul Lambert seemingly prioritising Christian Benteke over Aston Villa’s leading goal scorer of last season would turn out to be a good idea, Darren Bent. However, could it be said that Christian Benteke’s striking displays may have changed that perspective?
It may be a surprise to some people how Christian Benteke seems to have usurped Darren Bent in the pecking order of strikers at Aston Villa. Despite his goal tally last season and the huge amount of money he was signed for, Darren Bent has spent much time on the sidelines. It does not seem that boss Paul Lambert is a huge fan of Darren Bent, Darren Bent’s start against Norwich in the Capital One Cup was his first in six weeks. Of course, Darren Bent has now had a further setback with a hamstring injury set to rule him out for a few weeks, and it has been much speculated that he may leave in January.
Even with Christian Benteke’s current success, one exciting thing to think about is that due to his young age, we could maybe expect even better things to come from the striker. As Paul Lambert has said: “The potential for someone as young as that is frightening. He might not peak for a few years yet. He’s only 21 and he can be anything he wants.”
So, with the striker being so impressive, could it be said that clubs should maybe look at him more closely, with January approaching. However, any potential suitors should perhaps not get too excited, as Paul Lambert, perhaps predictably, would not be keen to sell. He has said: “I have to hold onto Benteke. He’s going nowhere. I have run out of things to say about Christian. He is not the finished article but he has been excellent for us and a fans’ favourite.”
Christian Benteke has made a significant impact so far this season. Will he soon be seen as a Premier League great?