Aston Villa

Lambert hails Benteke

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Paul Lambert has said that he believes his summer-signing Christian Benteke is proving to be a superb bit of business by Aston Villa.

The Belgian arrived in the Midlands on the final day of the transfer window from Genk, and is proving to be a real hit at Villa Park.

When you think about the qualities that you need in a good front-man, Benteke has them all as he is quick, strong, powerful, brings others into the game and most importantly – has an eye for goal.

He has scoredfive goals this season, which is a decent return. Some even suggest that a number of clubs are looking to lure him away from Villa in the January transfer window – but Lambert will not be letting that happen.

He said: I think Christian, since he came here, has been excellent. He was probably unheard of and nobody really knew too much about him.

“Then all of a sudden he’s doing what he’s doing and then everybody takes notice.

“He’s been an absolute steal, for what he’s doing and the way he’s performing. The inflation of it, and transfer values, are ridiculous, but I’m pretty sure he’s not worth £7-8million now!

Benteke has also, of course, been keeping Darren Bent on the sidelines, which is not an easy thing to do. Whichever way you look at it, Lambert prefers his Belgium international to Bent. The 22-year-old fits the mould as the Villa manager’s kind of player – young, hungry and no ego.

The Scot had so much success at Norwich City by bringing in players that felt as though they had a point to prove, and Benteke is certainly one of them. He is grabbing his chance to play in the Premier League and more than holding his own.

As for Bent, he might have been thinking that when Lambert came in that his place was all but guaranteed due to his record in the top flight – but that has not been the case. Unless the Englishman really starts to work hard and impress in training, he might be warming that bench for a while.

Benteke clearly has more goals in him and looks as though he could form a superb partnership with Andreas Weimann, another one of Lambert’s summer signings.

The former Genk man won’t be allowed to go anywhere in January, so could go on to have a superb season with Aston Villa.

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