Why this Aston Villa star has to leave in January

Since arriving at Villa Park from Belgian side Genk in the summer of 2012, Aston Villa’s star striker Christian Benteke has become a priceless signing for Paul Lambert’s side. After netting 30 goals in just over 60 Premier League games, is it now time for the Belgium international to make the move away from Villa?

At just £7m, Benteke has been one of the Premier League’s great bargains. The Belgian was one of Lambert’s first signings and without a doubt his best. With 19 league goals in his first season, followed up by 10 in the next – Benteke has quickly become one of the Premier League’s most coveted strikers. The 24-year-old has been linked with a number of big clubs since he arrived in England – surely now is the time for Benteke to make the move away in January.

Aston Villa currently sit 11th in the Premier League table after five wins, four draws and six defeats so far. Benteke missed the back-end of last season, the World Cup and the start of this campaign through injury. But since his return in early October, it has only taken him a handful of games settle back into first-team action. He was foolishly dismissed in the 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham in early November, but he then quickly repaid his team with the only goal in the Villans’ 1-0 away win over Crystal Palace a week ago.

No disrespect to Aston Villa, but the Belgium striker certainly deserves a crack at a bigger club. Villa may have opened the Premier League door for Benteke, but he must now go onto bigger and better things. The ex-Genk man has flourished in the last couple of seasons in an average Aston Villa side and it would be very interesting indeed to see how good a player he could become at a bigger club.

You know what you are going to get with Christian Benteke, he’s fast, athletic, good in the air, physical and one of the Premier League’s best finishers. Benteke is certainly invaluable to Villa’s side, and if he was to move on, he will be sorely missed at the Midlands club. The likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool to name a few have been linked – and all would really benefit from his services.

Paul Lambert has done, and will continue to, swiftly dismiss any suggestions that he could be leaving the club. After Benteke handed in a transfer request (which was subsequently withdrawn) at the start of last season, speculation of him leaving Villa Park has never been too far away. One thing is for sure though, it will take a substantial offer to Villa’s chairman Randy Lerner to prize the Belgian away.

Benteke has been at Villa Park for over two years now, and despite handing in the transfer request, has remained largely loyal to the club – many other players in the striker’s position would have pushed harder for a transfer. The Villa fans will be hoping and praying that they can keep their star man in a claret and blue shirt for the foreseeable future. But surely now the time is right for Benteke to move on.