Will Christian Benteke stay at Aston Villa
More attention was heaped on the shoulders of promising young Belgian striker Christian Benteke, as he netted a hat trick in Aston Villa’s 6-1 demolition of Sunderland in the Premier League at the end of April. While he has stepped up big for the Villains this season, as they have dug deeply to avoid the dreaded relegation in difficult times for them, his goals have been all important for the club. His return of 22 goals on the season, up to the end of April 2013, has made him one of the most coveted young players in the English Premier League and the 22 year old will now naturally be the target for bigger clubs during the summer transfer window.
The survival of Villa will be key to them keeping their hands on the Belgian striker, who netted thirteen goals in his first fifteen Premier League matches of 2013. So if Aston Villa do manage to avoid the drop this season, they will be hoping to keep Benteke under a new, and of course vastly improved, contract. They will have to dig deep again, this time into their pockets to offer an attractive proposition for Benteke to stay. The big, powerful striker has been the focal point of everything that Villa has done going forward this season, and he has proven his worth to the club without any doubt. Villa manager Paul Lambert wants him to stay, and the future of the club going forward could be in the hands of Benteke.
The striker was a bargain pick up at £7 million from Genk, and at the time he was overlooked by other Premier League clubs who thought that he was still a bit raw and not worth the risk. Bookmakers are offering odds of around 8/11 that Benteke will still be with the Midlands club next season, but remain cautious by offering odds of Evens that he will be at any other club than Villa come September 1st, 2013. While Villa are naturally keen to keep a hold of him, there other side of the coin is the player’s own ambitions. He wants to become first choice striker for the talented young Belgian international side and if a bigger club comes knocking for his attention, then he could be easily tempted by the lure of Champions League or Europa League competition.
Tottenham are said to be leading the way in interest to capture the Belgian’s signature. Arsenal, who were originally showing some interest in the striker before Villa pulled the trigger on a deal, would also be a likely suitor for his strength up front. There would be the return of a big pay day for Villa if they sell him, probably upwards of £20 million, but that would still be a big blow for those betting on Aston Villa as they would have to start from scratch again in trying to build for next season.