One of the bright sparks of an otherwise, dire season for Aston Villa football club, has been Belgian striker Christian Benteke.
It takes a big talent to come and steal the limelight away from Darren Bent, one of the Premier League’s most consistent goal-scorers, but the 22-year-old has been making some serious waves this season.
He’s certainly won Paul Lambert over, who has kept Bent on the bench on numerous occasions, to ensure than Benteke is given ample opportunities to shine.
Benteke is a towering, forward with a real presence. He’s great in the air, but he’s no slouch along the ground either. Once the ball’s at his feet, he’s able to turn quickly, run at players, work space and pass it into dangerous areas. Best of all, however, he’s supremely confident in front of goal and has already scored 14 times this season.
This achievement is all the more notable given his club’s poor form this season. Whilst Villa scrabble around in the muck and the mire of a relegation battle, Benteke seems to be reaching for something greater.
Whilst Lambert has been much criticised this season, he’s the man who signed Benteke and had the faith to play him ahead of Bent. For this he deserves some plaudits. He recently told the Press:
“With what he’s done, he’s a cult hero already. He’s only 22 and he’s got years and years ahead of him. He’s not at his peak, but what he’s done for me and for the club is fantastic. If someone wanted to buy Christian, they’d better have a few quid in their pocket.”
A few quid indeed. The Sun claim that Arsenal are interested in Benteke who has doubled in value since last summer. Given that he cost Lambert £7m in the summer, his new £14m price-tag is large sum for a player who could end up being a flash in the pan. Who’s to say that he’ll be as effective next season?
Players like Benteke and Michu create large amounts of buzz, because they’re new and effective. But will they have long and prosperous careers? That’s a gamble. For Benteke, it would be a £14m+ gamble.
But for Arsenal, if it came off, I think it’d be perfect. He’s athletic, he’s graceful and he’s a fine finisher. I think he’d make a very smart addition. The Gunners need another forward or two and Benteke fits the bill.
What’s your take? Should Arsenal be in the market for Christian Benteke?
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