Christian Benteke's decision to stay at Villa Park may very well help maintain Aston Villa's Premier League status.
Aston Villa managed to fight off relegation and remain in the Premier League after a tough finish to the season, this was largely in part to Benteke's 19 goals and 4 assists. 19 goals in a Premier League season is a feat any striker would be proud of. However, when you take into account this was Benteke's debut season in England on top of the fact the Belgian is only 22-years-old, it is quite an extraordinary tally.
Benteke joined Aston Villa on a four-year-deal for a sum believed to be around £7m from Belgian club Genk. Having never scored for the club, Benteke was an unknown before joining Villa.
As a result of Benteke's exceptional performances, he has earned himself a spot in the Belgian international squad, a squad that stars the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini.
Having earned himself interest from several top clubs in Europe, Aston Villa almost lost their star player after interest from Tottenham Hotspur. Benteke's transfer request, handed in on the July 9th, was almost expected after the tremendous season he had despite the situation Aston Villa faced. However, in a surprising turn of events on July 19th, Benteke withdrew his transfer request and pledged himself to the Birmingham based club signing a contract deal that binds him to the club until 2017.
If the Belgian improves as expected this coming season Benteke could become one of the best strikers in the Premier League. Though, Aston Villa may face another tough season with their young squad it is almost a certainty that Benteke will have a big impact.
The signs seem to be good thus far this season, as Benteke scored a hat-trick in a pre-season game against Crewe on Friday, contributing to a a comfortable 5-1 victory for Paul Lambert's side.
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