Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has been nowhere near his usual deadly self this season. In his 20 league and cup games thus far, the Belgian hitman has only found the net on a disappointing three occasions.
Villa have unquestionably found goals extremely hard to come by this term, and the poor form of their once-prolific centre forward hasn’t helped their cause one bit. Benteke hit a superb 29 Premier League goals over the course of his first two seasons at Villa Park, but after making his comeback from injury in early October, the 24-year-old has struggled to replicate anywhere near his best.
The Belgium international, who the Mirror reported was heavily linked with a £15m move to Liverpool in January, seems to be completely shot of confidence at present. Whether it’s his own fault for not getting into the right positions, or indeed he’s not getting the service, either way, Aston Villa have never needed their star striker to start providing the much-needed goals as much as they do now.
The Villans’ new boss Tim Sherwood recently told Villa’s official website that he feels it’s only a matter of time before Benteke finds his goalscoring boots again.
“Christian knows he’s a good player. He has a 1 in 2 strike rate – he is a prolific goalscorer. He is going through a barren spell at the moment. But when one goes in, the floodgates will open. I am sure of that,” Sherwood said.
“We need him to recapture that form. He possesses a lot of tools. We need to give him that ammunition though. That’s important. It’s up to the rest of the boys to support him. But we could do with one or two of his goals between now and the end of the season. He’s aware of that.”
Despite the former Genk man’s dismal form in front of goal this season, there has been no signs of him giving up the ghost just yet. The striker was starved of service once again in the 2-1 home defeat to Stoke City on the weekend, but the recent arrival of Scott Sinclair on loan from Manchester City, could provide Benteke with the spark he so desperately needs.
With the Midlands club living extremely dangerously in the Premier League table – currently occupying 19th position – Villa know just how hard a task they face in keeping their top flight status intact. The Villans are on a shocking 11-game winless run, which dates all the way back from early December when they narrowly saw off bottom-placed Leicester City 2-1 at Villa Park.
Fortunately for Sherwood’s team, with 12 Premier League games remaining, time is still on their side. But if Aston Villa are to survive the drop, it’s imperative that they get Christian Benteke firing on all cylinders again. Make no mistake about it, he’s undoubtedly a very talented forward – and maybe Sherwood is right – if his teammates can provide him with the service, he could be the man to fire in the goals that keeps this famous old club in the Premier League.