On the eve of the 8th July, Aston Villa fans were left in a state of shock following the transfer request of star striker Christain Benteke, only a year after the Belgian joined from Genk in a £7 million deal last August.
Benteke had enjoyed a sparkling year in his introductory Premier League season with 19 goals in 34 appearances, playing a considerable role in Paul Lambert's side beating the drop.
Throughout the season there had been constant speculation as to where he would be plying his trade the following season and it would appear the opportunity to join a top four side has spurred Benteke to request a transfer.
Villa look set to make a sizeable profit on the £7 million Randy Lerner coughed up last summer with a £25million figure being bounded about as his new potential value. If Benteke were to depart Villa Park a replacement would unquestionably be brought in, with Darren Bent looking set to leave Villa this summer too as interest mounts from Newcastle and Fulham.
Despite Benteke's imminent departure, Lambert certainly hasn't been afraid to add to his ranks with Jores Okore, Leandro Bacuna, Aleksandar Tonev, Nicklas Helenius, Antonio Luna all joining the youthful Villa revolution.
Things look bright for Aston Villa in the upcoming campaign following on from what was undoubtedly a testing year, though it would appear they have benefited from their ordeal as a squad.
Strong seasons from Matt Lowton, Brad Guzan and Gabby Agbonlahor offered positives and it would appear that whilst Benteke's departure would leave a gaping hole, the rest of the squad looks strong. If Lambert brings in a strong replacement for the departing Belgian, things look strong for Aston Villa in the approaching season.
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