Aston Villa fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief this evening… the big man is on board.
Towering Belgian center forward Christian Benteke has nailed his colors to the mast by signing a new four-year contract at Villa Park, ending any chance of him leaving this summer.
Previously the 22-year-old striker had put in a transfer request to leave the Villans.
But it seems as though Paul Lambert’s powers of persuasion, and a healthy boost in his weekly wage, have convinced Benteke that he should remain at Villa.
“I spoke with the Manager when I returned to training and we had a good talk. I am very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract,” Benteke said. “This is a great Club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my teammates and the fans who have always been right behind me.”
How will Villa’s fans react to this news? Relief, joy and cautious optimism would sum it up. After enduring a nail-biting season during the 2012-13 campaign, Benteke’s form was the main highlight. But is seemed as if his future would lie elsewhere after he handed in a transfer request last month.
However Benteke seems to have come to the best decision ahead of Belgium’s impending appearance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Playing with teammates he knows well, in front of fans that love him and a coaching staff fully supporting his talents is a huge boost and that was likely a key factor behind his new deal.
While Villa’s manager Lambert was ecstatic to see Benteke commit himself to the Birmingham based club for the foreseeable future.
“I’m delighted, having time to re-evaluate his future, Christian has decided to commit to the Club. It’s a huge bonus and I’m sure the supporters are every bit as delighted as me to have him on board and raring to go.”
Benteke was linked to Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal amongst many other clubs but staying at Villa was the right decision. He has flourished since joining from Genk and scored 23 goals in all competitions last season. His powerful frame suits the Premier League and Villa’s young squad will surely be better this year.
Some may question his ambition, but he is in a comfortable place as the figurehead at a sleeping giant of the English game. Even if he doesn’t return Villa back to their glory days, if Benteke keeps banging in the goals he will likely get suitors lining up at the door season after season, just like they did this summer.
Fans of Villa, Belgium and the Premier League should all be spurred on by Benteke’s decision to sign a new deal.
Another season full of goals and stunning forward displays beckon from the big Belgian called Christian.