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Aston Villa

Why Christian Benteke’s contract renewal is Villa’s best piece of business so far

Christian Benteke was one of the stand-out newcomers to the Premier League last season, especially in a poor Aston Villa side, scoring 19 league goals to guide the Villains to safety. This season-long performance caught the eye of some of England’s top clubs, causing speculation linking him with a move away from Villa Park to the likes of Chelsea or Tottenham.

Even so, when it was revealed he had handed in a transfer request recently, it was a shock after all he had done for the club in his first season. It’s understandable, he was trying to force a move out to a bigger club, as he wanted to be given that big chance, but even so it’s hard to condone it, especially when he had been such an integral part of the Villa side that stayed up last season.

That made it an even bigger shock in more recent times when he then retracted his request for a transfer and signed a new contract with the club, apparently now willing to stay at Villa instead and continue in the claret shirt. The general consensus is that manager Paul Lambert persuaded the Belgium international to stay in Birmingham, instead of moving to one of the London clubs who were supposedly after him as soon as he handed in a transfer request. Personally, I think retracting the request is the best possible solution for both parties, and will prove to be over the next couple of years.

Obviously, it’s fantastic for Villa that they’ve managed to persuade the 22-year-old to stay. He was their best player last season in my opinion, and they’d have struggled this time around without him, as I think they’d have found it hard to bring someone of the same quality in, and thus would have struggled in the Premier League. We don’t yet know whether he’ll actually have the same effect as he did in his first season in England, but I believe he has the quality to have the same level of impact in his second season, and for Villa this will be a huge benefit.

We often see players who have a good first season in England after moving from a foreign league to one of the smaller teams in the Premier League, and after having a very effective first season, get snapped up by one of the league’s biggest clubs. Obviously, the allure of a big club such as United or City is too hard to turn down, as is understandable. Much more money, bigger grounds, and the chance to play alongside some of the better players in the world. However, we often see these moves failing to come off for either party, mostly because the player who is still developing doesn’t get the amount of game-time they need, and as such don’t have the chance to develop in matches, as well as on the training ground.

This is why it was important for Benteke to stay at Villa. Had he moved to Chelsea or Arsenal, he would have faced a lot of competition from the star strikers there, especially when both are being linked with players of the calibre of Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez, and maybe the Belgian wouldn’t have played as much as he wanted or needed to, hindering his development as a player and meaning he has less chance of fulfilling his potential. Were he to move to Tottenham, I feel he would be first-choice, but he’d be under a lot of pressure to get them into the top-four, which they’ve been vying for, for a while now, and failed to get in there so far. This would mean Benteke would be relied on to fulfil this big task.

So, at the end of the day both Benteke and Villa have got the most suitable moves for them, and I think we’ll see a much improved Villa side next year, especially after Benteke signed his new contract until 2017. He’ll develop much quicker as a player at Villa Park, and if he does reach his full potential there, it might be time for him to make that move to a top club, but not just yet, as he would struggle to reach his full potential, which would be a real shame.

This article was written by @Ayo_Isaiah8, read the original piece here

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