Paul Lambert’s transfer acumen should ensure Aston Villa stay

Christian BentekeFormer Aston Villa boss John Gregory believes the capture of Christian Benteke alone should mean current manager Paul Lambert gets more time.

With Nigel Adkins now leading Reading’s survival fight after being unceremoniously dumped by Southampton, and Harry Redknapp spending big following his arrival at QPR, the scrap to retain Premier League status has already claimed some notable victims.

Yet, arguably the biggest club facing the loss of their top-flight status have stuck resolutely by their man.

Villa owner Randy Lerner may have been criticised for his lack of recent investment in the Midlands giants but he has kept faith with Lambert, even through a horror run in which 15 goals were conceded and none scored in three successive defeats before the utter humiliation of losing a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final to League Two outfit Bradford.

Gregory, Villa manager for four years between 1998 and 2002, feels Lambert has earned that trust purely by recruiting Benteke for a miserly £7million from Genk last summer.

“Purely signing Benteke is enough to keep Paul Lambert in work for another two years,” he said. “It was a stroke of genius.

“Whether or not Villa are able to hang onto him in the summer remains to be seen but this guy is a real find.

“It amazes me the likes of Arsenal have missed someone of that calibre. He scored the winning goal against QPR and seems a complete snip at £7million.”

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