After helping Aston Villa secure Premiership football for another season, there has been a lot of speculation regarding Christian Benteke’s future. The Belgian forward is wanted by a host of top clubs.
Benteke has revealed that he would be tempted to leave if Villa receive an offer from a top club. His decision is simple. Either he stays at Villa Park and continues to play every week and learn, or he moves to a top side and tests himself.
Benteke can do a job for a host of sides. The big striker has good feet, is strong, very good in the air and has become clinical in front of goal.
He is wanted by Arsenal and Spurs as they both look to bolster their attacking options. He’s also wanted by Atlético Madrid after they sold Radamel Falcao to heavily invested AS Monaco. Borussia Dortmund are also keen, but will only consider making a move if Robert Lewandowski leaves the club.
Benteke arrived at Aston Villa after an £8million move from Belgian side Genk. Paul Lambert decided that Benteke was going to lead the line for Villa and not £24million man Darren Bent.
This decision confused some fans. When times were bad, an unproven striker was being preferred to a proven Premier League goal scorer. But how Villa have now reaped the rewards of the managers faith.
Benteke got 19 league goals this season. The most ever by an Aston Villa player, beating the previous record of 17 held by Dwight Yorke. His goals helped Villa beat the drop.
But Lambert is not happy after Benteke revealed he would be tempted to leave. He told talkSPORT.
“He’s had one of those seasons where he’s never been injured or hasn’t been suspended, except the last day. He’s got to remember that he’s only 22 years of age, he’s got so much to learn.”
“He’s only a kid starting out and he’s going to have ups and downs. Once he’s played 400-500 games, then you can start to think, yea, he’s a good player.”
“I think sometimes we need to have a reality check. He’s only been in Britain 10 months.”
Lambert is right. Benteke has had a great season. But many players have had good first seasons in the Premiership and then gone on to struggle. It would be more impressive if he stays at Aston Villa for next season and gets 19 league goals again. He has got so much to learn still. He’s far from a complete player. If he moves to a top side and isn’t first choice, his development could be hampered and his confidence might get knocked.
But playing in Europe and playing with better players will help Benteke improve.
Aston Villa won’t be willing to sell their star player. The front three of Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann have been brilliant in the second half of the season. Benteke is vital to that three. He is the vocal point of the attack and Agbonlahor and Weimann feed off him.
It’s a tough one for Benteke. He needs to prove he isn’t a one season wonder. But he also wants to get the most out of his career. He wants to play for his country in the World Cup. If he feel he has a better chance of improving as a player and being Belgium’s main striker at a top club, then Villa should get the most amount of money they can for him.