Top five: Indispensable Premier League players (6)

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1. Christian Benteke - Aston Villa

 A £7million deadline day signing in the summer of 2012, Benteke slipped in somewhat under the radar. However, after 23 goals in 39 games in all competitions, the Premier League and the whole of Europe learnt just how effective the powerful forward was. 

He has established himself in a stellar Belgium team, scoring 6 in 15 internationals, and started this season as he finished the last, bagging two goals as Villa upset Arsenal at the Emirates.

A hip flexor injury at Norwich meant he missed a month, and while his replacement Libor Kozak scored against Norwich and also played in the win over Manchester City, the difference between the tall front men is palpable.

Benteke is not just tall, he is strong, fast, and athletic.

He has a tremendous leap, can run in behind, hold the ball up, and generally prove a nightmare for opposition centre backs.

Without him, Villa struggle to build up the play, relying on counter attacks for goalscoring opportunities.

While this can work against the big teams with the pace of Gaby Agbonlahor and
Andreas Wiemann in behind, against similarly skilled sides, especially at Villa
Park, the hosts can look impotent in possession.


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